On Saturday 3 December 2016, the Demystification Committee held an Offshore Roundtable. As the first in a series of discussions around Offshore Finance from an artistic perspective, the workshop investigated some of the technical and geopolitical structures bound up in modern movements of capital offshore, with a number of invitees working in the design and research field.
Participants were asked what and where is offshore through a number of collective exercises; they were also presented with some of the tools and technologies used to gain access to offshore financial structures.
The Offshore Roundtable was held in a meeting room in London’s Greenwich Peninsula, a strategic location which allowed us gazing over Canary Wharf while discussing leaked documents directly connected to banks in London’s financial district.
Furthermore, Greenwich Peninsula is wholly owned by Knight Dragon, a company privately owned by billionaire entrepreneur Henry Cheng Kar-Shun, the man behind Asia’s leading New World Development Company Limited. New World Development is a Hong-Kong business built on property, infrastructure and services, and one whose roots are deeply offshore — the company is also named in the ICIJ Offshore Leaks.
Both the Offshore A—Z database and an interface to the neural network which we trained to generate company mission-statements were used alongside other visual artefacts to identify offshore narratives and the actions, and repercussions, of entities engaged in dark financial practices.