BY Metahaven in Influences | 24 MAY 12
Featured in
Issue 5

Transparency II

In this series, frieze d/e asks artists, curators or writers to reflect upon one word and its impact

BY Metahaven in Influences | 24 MAY 12

Metahaven, WikiLeaks, 2011 (Courtesy: Metahaven; Fotografie: Meinke Klein)

A new, vigilante type of transparency has emerged with the revelations of WikiLeaks. We call this movement Black Transparency. It is an attack, not on governments, but on the paradigm of government and the infor­mation privileges that come with it. Black Transparency does not act alone but is part of a global movement, now known by names like ‘Occupy’ and ‘Anonymous,’ which takes back fundamental goods of the state and redistributes them publicly. Public squares, public money and public information – which always belonged to the citizens – are saved from going under with a system wrongly entrusted with their management.

How does Black Transparency operate? There is no lack of spaces for it to appear, but all of them are ruled over by governments, their courts and their cyber armies. The global cloud of social media and Internet information is the indispensible, hydra-headed, chaos-mongering powerhouse of Black Transparency, but this house is built on territories over which sovereign rulers preside. Thus the appearance and shape of Black Transparency is always changing to fit the legal and political loopholes of the states whose legitimacy it opposes. Black Transparency finds temporary homes in jurisdictional enclaves while forming short-lived informational tax havens. Because its architecture depends on acts of evasion – and power – Black Transparency is not just transparent but also black.

The work of the artist collective Metahaven encompasses writing, filmmaking and design.