Inside the Energy Salon: Installation and Illusions of Finality

Arthur Mason


This article analyzes promotional images associated with energy events as ethnographic objects in their own right. I examine how the sensory experience of promotional imagery with its fantasy display contributes to the rational presentation of energy planning, with its emphasis on accountability through expert knowledge provisioning. Promotional images fall under the rubric of impression management where an ideal of believability mediates between objects of manufacture and their desire. Informed by the works of artists Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, I frame these images as an illusion of finality, which I then connect to a broader argument about the rise of an energy salon―a shift that appears to involve an increased prominence of visual attention and management in how energy expertise is produced, performed, and circulated.


Energy planning; expertise; impression management; restructured industries; promotional cultures

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ISSN: 2245-4217

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