Publicity and Secrecy in the Age of WikiLeaks
SKOR | Foundation Art and Public Space /
Taking WikiLeaks as an illustrative example, Open 22 investigates how transparency and secrecy relate to one another, to the public and to publicity in our computerized visual cultures. It examines transparency as an ideology, the ideal of the free flow of information versus the fight over access to information and the intrinsic connection between publicity and secrecy. Does transparency only work in a liberating way? Can it not equally have a concealing or controlling effect? Aren’t certain forms of transparency actually the manifestation of the banality of the contemporary spectacle, which revolves around pure display and the production of affects? What role does the media play in this?
Media theorist Felix Stalder searches for a form of transparency that can express and strengthen social solidarity.
Stefan Nowotny, philosopher, states that secrecy and publicity are more intertwined with one another than ever before.
Media theorist Boris Groys argues that the universal openness of WikiLeaks is based on the most consummate secretiveness.
Political theorist Jodi Dean criticizes WikiLeaks and Julian Assange, reproaching the latter for lack of insight into the setting in which he operates.
Willem van Weelden interviews media theorist Geert Lovink and political sociologist Merijn Oudenampsen on whether WikiLeaks is effecting social and political change. Critic Jorinde Seijdelwonders where WikiLeaks and Facebook converge. Architecture historian Roel Griffioen shows that, unlike in the ‘modernist’ glass house, concealing has become just as important as displaying in today’s one-way glass house.
Art critic Sven Lütticken shows how the structure of the modern work of art offers the perfect means of gaining insight into the dialectics of opacity and transparency. Artist’s contributions by Jill Magid, Zachary Formwalt and Heath Bunting.
Open investigates the contemporary conditions of public space and changing notions of publicness in a structural manner in relation to cultural production. This implies an experimental and interdisciplinary exposition of the reality, possibilities and limitations of the current public domain, in particular from sociological, philosophical, political and artistic perspectives. Within the framework of this ‘project in progress’, themes such as safety, memory, visibility, cultural freedom, tolerance hybrid space, the rise of informal media, art as a public affair, precarity and privacy have been examined.
Open is edited by Jorinde Seijdel (editor in chief) and Liesbeth Melis (final editing) and appears twice a year in a Dutch-language and an English-language edition. The graphic design is by Thomas Buxò and Klaartje van Eijk. Open is an initiative of SKOR | Foundation Art and Public Space, Amsterdam and is published by NAi Publishers.