leaking in Stalder 2018

tal condition, these forms have
likewise shifted to the level of data, and an especially innovative and
effective means of resistance []{#Page_149 type="pagebreak"
title="149"}has been the "leak"; that is, the unauthorized publication
of classified documents, usually in the form of large datasets. The most
famous platform for this is WikiLeaks, which since 2006 has attracted
international attention to this method with dozens of spectacular
publications -- on corruption scandals, abuses of authority, corporate
malfeasance, environmental damage, and war crimes. As a form of
resistance, however, leaking entire databases is not limited to just one
platform. In recent years and through a variety of channels, large
amounts of data (from banks and accounting firms, for instance) have
been made public or have been handed over to tax investigators by
insiders. Thus, in 2014, for instance, the *Süddeutsche Zeitung*
(operating as part of the International Consortium of Investigative
Journalists based in Washington, DC), was not only able to analyze the
so-called "Offshore Leaks" -- a database concerning approximately
122,000 shell companies registered in tax

stitutions that depend on keeping secrets, such as banks and
intelligence agencies, have to "share" their information internally and
rely on a large pool of technical personnel to record and process the
massive amounts of data. To accomplish these tasks, employees need the
fullest possible access to this information, for even the most secret
databases have to be maintained by someone, and this also involves
copying data. Thus, it is far easier today than it was just a few
decades ago to smuggle large volumes of data out of an

This new form of leaking, however, did not become an important method of
resistance on account of technical developments alone. In the era of big
data, databases are the central resource not only for analyzing how the
world is described by digital communication, but also for generating
that communication. The power of networks in particular is organized
through the construction of environmental conditions that operate
simultaneously in many places. On their own, the individual commands and
instructions are often banal and harmless, but as a whole they
contribute to a dynamic field that is meant to produce the results

leaking in Dekker & Barok 2017

phenomena.1 Perhaps the biggest change is the ongoing
See for example
shift from mapping people, events, and places towards
Features. Accessed
synthesizing discourses.
28 May 2016.
A turning point occurred during my studies at the
Piet Zwart Institute, in the Networked Media programme
from 2010–2012, which combined art, design, software,
and theory with support in the philosophy of open source
and prototyping. While there, I was researching aspects of
the networked condition and how it transforms knowledge,
sociality and economics: I wrote research papers on leaking
as a technique of knowledge production, a critique of the
social graph, and on the libertarian values embedded in the
design of digital currencies. I was ready for more practice.
When Aymeric Mansoux, one of the tutors, encouraged me
to develop my then side-project Monoskop into a graduation
work, the timing was good.
The website got its own domain, a redesign, and most
crucially, the Monoskop wiki was restructured from its
focus on media art and culture towards the much wider
of the arts and humanities. It turned to a media
Symposium. Accessed
28 May 2016.


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