Intimate Technologies and the War Zone


Session Title:

  • Decontamination, Surveillance and Ready Made Martial Law in the Anthrax Age

Presentation Title:

  • Intimate Technologies and the War Zone



    The Fashion of Statelessness, War and Responsibility in the Mobile Era.


    President Bush, please tell me, “Is Orange the Colour of EVIL?” How do we understand the colour orange, a secondary colour, and hence a result of effects, in relation to the problem of agency, of visibility and invisibility, of belonging and not belonging? How can we connect wearable technologies, the mobility of fashion as style, the desire to subtly wear communications on our sleeve or on our bodies with an era of localized warfare, globalization and the reordering of identities? The technologies of the self are core to war.

    Can you shake the images of ElQueda prisoners held in the hot cages of Guantanamo by the US military? Stripped of cultural representations, dressed in vibrant neon orange, these men both live out and symbolize the loss of state protection, a spiral into the virtuality of the global political vortex. They are not the only prisoners who wear orange. In Canada, you can see the mostly Aboriginal prison population toiling at the side of the highway in work gangs, wearing flame coloured orange coveralls. They too were systematically stripped of cultural expression that includes spiritual as well as linguistic identity, ideology and ethics. They too were stripped of nation status. They have resisted. Is the era of ubiquity a return to feudalism, for some? (See Jamie King, MUTE’s articles on statelessness).


    Full text (PDF) p. 151