Photo collage Paola Rigamonti

Karl Marx and the net

This essay will focus on the nature of digital imagery analysed in relation to Marx’s theory about the ‘ontology of the social form of value in society based on relations of exchange’ (Osborne, 2010, p.59). A brief synthesis of Osborne’s view and of Marx’s relevant theories will be followed by a step by step parallel where the current relations between the real and the indexicality of the digital image will be read through the lens of Marx’s theories of use-value and exchange-value in relation to labour. A concise discussion about the relevance of the analogue-digital shift in photography will follow. Findings will be tested against examples of contemporary celebrities.