ATMs, teleprompters and photobooths: a short history of neoliberal optics

Autumn / Winter 2013

This essay investigates three devices that were widely used beginning mid-twentieth century to explore the concept of ‘neoliberal optics’. Through a discussion of the development of the teleprompter, the self-portraiture in photobooths and automated teller machines (ATM), this paper outlines the role that optical technologies played in the development of forms of embodiment and selfhood the define neoliberal culture. This essay argues that, while the emergence of these optical technologies antedate the established chronologies of neoliberalism, they subsequently were integrated with the broader cultural project that defined has defined the neoliberal individual.

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NF 80/81 Neoliberal Culture