Neither the sun nor death can be stared upon fixedly

In this paper, I examine the fetishisation of the database as determinant apparatus in constructing blind or random cultural hierarchies and relationships through a multiplier effect of surplus information (metadata) around cultural entities, demonstrating the rise of social capital and the effects of the attention economy on cultural production, the logic of which we see as the hollowing out of cultural content into the frame, and a ʻLouisQuatorzisationʼ of the subject.

I draw examples from contemporary artwork and film, including Roberto Rosselliniʼs 1966 made-for-television film, La Prise de Pouvoir par Louis Quatorze (ʻThe Rise to Power of Louis XIVʼ), as a prism to analyse these effects.

Keywords: attention economy, social capital, radical visibility, blindness, absolutism,
equalisation, metadata, database fetishisation, Louis XIV, otaku, pancakes.


This paper was delivered at Transmission: Hospitality confrence in July 2010 at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.


The full paper is available to download from:



ANNABEL FREARSON, The Rise to Power of Louis Quatorze, Rossellini, 1966

The Rise to Power of Louis Quatorze, Rossellini, 1966