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Getting Lost in the Labyrinth: Information and Technology in the Marketplace

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  • John Conway

    (Art Institute of Pittsburgh, USA)

Abstract

The importance of the labyrinth as a trope in the Western tradition can hardly be overstated. Far from being a metaphor that describes just anything, it is a sign whose meaning appears in specific contexts. This article argues how the labyrinth’s triple function as visual, verbal and spatial sign—as well as its paradoxical function as unicursal and multicursal structure—makes it flexible enough to represent the paradoxical and complex nature of the modern workplace, the city, the mall and the individual subject’s position within an ever burgeoning network of relationships brought about by consumerism, capitalism, and commodification. Understanding the labyrinth trope helps people to understand the subject’s relationship to power and the very technology that we have created and in which we are trapped.

Suggested Citation

  • John Conway, 2011. "Getting Lost in the Labyrinth: Information and Technology in the Marketplace," International Journal of Social and Organizational Dynamics in IT (IJSODIT), IGI Global, vol. 1(3), pages 50-65, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jsodit:v:1:y:2011:i:3:p:50-65
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