Abstract: Data leaks have become one of the most ubiquitous weapons in the arsenal of digital media dissent. However, often such processes of mediation exceed a rational understanding of the information revealed. Acting in the domain of the accident, the mediations of leaks operate in the dimension of the event: an immanent and particular set of relations that is provoked by the encounter and collision of various forces, virtually becoming their productive potential. This article advances the question of how data leaks―as a form of media dissent―operate beyond representation, touching upon the vital realm of affect. Intensively enabling a transformation in the state of the forces at play, affect generates possibilities within the emergent world that is constantly in creation. In this article, I argue that the politics of leaks in contemporary network ecologies works in such an affective register, possessing the capabilities to trigger and activate subjects differentially. Exploring the 2012 leak by Anonymous Italia, consisting of around 3,500 Italian police documents, mostly concerning the NoTav movement, I propose that the mediations of data leaks need to be studied and apprehended via their inductive capacities, as a question of affective politics, or alter-politics.
Keywords: affect; affective politics; affect theory; Anonymous; data leaks; media theory; nonrepresentational theory; NoTav movement