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  • Writer's pictureCarol Anne Jones

"Ideal X"

Updated: Aug 24, 2020

As a natural progression from my “tragedy of digital space “series which explored the public space of the internet, I’m currently working on new artworks about the increasingly rapid movement and communication of things globally.

The accelerated movement of things and people within international space has changed rapidly since the first container ship “Ideal X” launched in 1955. The phrase “super stretched supply chains” was first coined in the 1990’s to describe how transnational companies expanded across borders in pursuit of new international markets. Flows of physical goods and finance were the hallmarks of that era with supply chains and labour markets becoming super s t r e t c h e d. At that time globalisation was driven almost exclusively by governments, large multinational corporations and major financial institutions. Along with these fundamental accelerated changes, our collective perceptions of distances across space changed too.

Then 2008 happened. Since then many observers point to a trend that perhaps globalisation has stopped,

Don’t think so. Quite the opposite.

We appear to be entering a new era of Digital globalisation. Socially and economically the world has never been more deeply connected by commerce, communication, and travel than it is today, although the pattern of globalisation is shifting. A diverse set of public Internet platforms have emerged to connect anyone, anywhere.

Trade was once dominated by tangible goods and was largely confined to advanced economies and their large multinational companies. Currently global data flows are surging allowing more countries and smaller enterprises to participate. Digital platforms create an environment where far-flung buyers and sellers find each other with a few clicks. Things get ordered online with transactions opening new possibilities for conducting business across borders on a massive scale. Operating systems, social networks, digital media platforms, e-commerce websites, and all kinds of online marketplaces use automation and algorithms which drive the marginal costs of adding new interactions practically to zero, allowing the biggest platforms to support hundreds of millions of global users. Now users can more easily see details on products, services, prices, and alternative choices.

So the approaches that worked for going global ten years ago may no longer be relevant which means companies are reevaluating past decisions.

Digitization has also created a shift toward launching products globally as opposed to staggering releases country by country. Once upon a time Hollywood studios waited until after a movie’s US run to release it overseas, where the foreign box office could still compensate for domestic disappointments. The highest-grossing movie of 1995, Die Hard: With a Vengeance, was screening in only three countries within ten days of its US release date; they represented only 10 percent of the total markets where it would eventually be released. In 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens launched in every major market (80 countries) except China in the same week, and more than half of its record-breaking debut weekend box office came from international ticket sales

Information transparency offered by the Internet means people around the world can see reviews immediately. There is no longer an opportunity to tweak and remarket - if a movie bombs in one place, it will be a global bomb!

So there you have it, it makes me wonder how this accelerated global space is going to effect visual perceptions? I wonder.....

Acknowledgements to:

Geopolitical futures

Harvey, D. (2008). The condition of postmodernity: an enquiry into the origins of cultural change. Cambridge: Blackwell.

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