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Dendriform Capitalism: Data and the New Logistical Regime
Cinema and Media Studies Colloquium
Dendriform Capitalism tells the story of the development of the modern global supply chain through a close investigation of SAP, the software suite at the heart of most large supply chains. Despite this software’s pivotal role in mediating global economic relations, from Wal-Mart to Coca-Cola, no comprehensive analysis of its affordances is yet available. Synthesizing techniques from the fields of software, platform, and media studies, I show how SAP’s supply chain modules are best understood as the algorithmic enshrinement of what David Harvey calls the “spatial fix”: they identify and heal rifts in the global network of supply chains with lightning speed — but still not fast enough to resolve some of global capitalism’s fundamental tensions.