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Jorinde Seijdel and Liesbeth Melis (editors.)

Open 22
Publicity and Secrecy in the Age of WikiLeaks

Design: Thomas Buxó and Klaartje van Eijk, Paperback, Illustrated (colour and b/w), 176 pages, 17 x 24 cm
English edition, ISBN 978-90-5662-839-0, € 23.50
Dutch edition, ISBN 978-90-5662-822-2

In association with SKOR | Foundation for Art and Public Domain

Open 22This issue of Open investigates how transparency and secrecy are intertwined in modern-day society and explores how they relate to the public and the civic, using WikiLeaks as a special case. The contributors consider the public’s intrinsic bond with the secret, the political potential of transparency and transparency as fetish, and the ideal of free flows of information versus the struggle for information.

WikiLeaks is certainly not an isolated phenomenon. The whistleblower website expresses the growing public desire for openness and transparency from the state, businesses and administrators. It is a demand for publicity that stems in part from the growing number of sensational social and political revelations. While people often regard secrecy within the public sphere as impermissible and clandestine, transparency is associated with democracy, participation and accessibility.

But is transparency really so liberating? Might it equally well result in concealment or stricter control of information? And is transparency not the ultimate manifestation of the banality of the contemporary society of spectacle, in which everything revolves around pure visibility and the production of affects? Open 22 addresses these questions and much more.

Open is a cahier that reflects upon contemporary public space from a cultural perspective.

With contributions by Sven Lütticken, Boris Groys, Felix Stalder, Jodi Dean, Jill Magid, Stefan Nowotny, Geert Lovink and others

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