This Obscure Thing Called Transparency

Politics and Aesthetics of a Contemporary Metaphor

Edited by Emmanuel Alloa

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The paradoxical logic of transparency and mediation

Transparency is the metaphor of our time. Whether in government or corporate governance, finance, technology, health or the media – it is ubiquitous today, and there is hardly a current debate that does not call for more transparency. But what does this word actually stand for and what are the consequences for the life of individuals? Can knowledge from the arts, and its play of visibility and invisibility, tell us something about the paradoxical logics of transparency and mediation? This Obscure Thing Called Transparency gathers contributions by international experts who critically assess the promises and perils of transparency today.

Contributors: Emmanuel Alloa (University of Fribourg), Loup Cellard (Melbourne Law School), Riccardo Donati (Università di Salerno), Mark Fenster (University of Florida), Sara Guindani (Université Paris 7), David Heald (University of Glasgow), Vlad Ionescu (UHasselt/PXL MAD), Dorota Mokrosinska (Leiden University), Herman Parret (KU Leuven), John Pitseys (UCLouvain), Natacha Pfeiffer (Université Saint-Louis), Philippe Van Parijs (UCLouvain), Bart Verschaffel (Ghent University), Patrick Vandermeersch (KU Leuven), Christophe Van Gerrewey (EPFL).

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).


1. “SEEING THROUGH A GLASS, DARKLY”
The Transparency Paradox
Emmanuel Alloa

PART I - POLITICS

2. IN DEFENSE OF TRANSPARENCY
Philippe Van Parijs

3. THE USES AND ABUSES OF TRANSPARENCY
David Heald

4. THE POLITICAL IMPERATIVE OF TRANSPARENCY
Its Grounds and Limits
Dorota Mokrosinska

5. FEED
State Transparency amidst Informational Surplus
Mark Fenster

6. ALGORITHMIC TRANSPARENCY
On the Rise of a New Normative Ideal and Its Silenced Performative Implications
Loup Cellard

7. TRANSPARENCY, PUBLICITY, SECRECY AND MENDACITY
Four Shades of Political Visibility
John Pitseys

8. WHY TRANSPARENCY HAS LITTLE (IF ANYTHING) TO DO WITH THE AGE OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Emmanuel Alloa

9. THE CONFESSING ANIMAL
Foucault and Christianity
Patrick Vandermeersch

PART II - AESTHETICS

10. COMMUNICATION, MANIPULATION, SEDUCTION
The Pragmatics of Transparency
Herman Parret

11. TRANSPARENCY AND OBSTACLE IN ARCHITECTURE
From Le Corbusier to Rem Koolhaas
Christophe Van Gerrewey

12. TROPPO VERO!
Opacity, Density, Noise and Thickness of Images
Vlad Ionescu

13. THE LAYERED IMAGE
Transparency, Time and Memory in Proust
Sara Guindani

14. WITH HIDDEN NOISE
The Rattle of Marcel Duchamp
Bart Verschaffel

15. THROUGH THE WINDOW OR BEYOND THE MIRROR
The Phantasmagorias of Transparency and Reflexiveness in Film Natacha Pfeiffer

16. MESSAGES ON GLASS
Transparency in Times of COVID-19
Riccardo Donati

NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

Format: Edited volume - paperback

Size: 234 × 156 × 19 mm

348 pages

Illustrated b/w

ISBN: 9789462703254

Publication: February 24, 2022

Languages: English: United States

Stock item number: 146482

Emmanuel Alloa is professor of aesthetics and philosophy of art at the Philosophy Department of the University of Fribourg.