transcoding the clandestine
Re-engeneering and Re-enactment
of a stealthboat as shown in a Tamil Tiger propaganda video footage. The Tamil Tiger video
footage was found on internet sites of private analysts of clandestine
The origins of the 'stealth'boats are the subject of much debates, some analysts believe the design and construction to be indigenous to Sri Lanka. The Tamil population are by tradition expert boat builders. Furthermore the Sea Tigers have utilised speedboats as weapons over the past few years. The frame on the front of the boat could be described as holding spikes that fasten the boat to its target once they have collided. A further indication that the boats were not originally designed for military missions are cut-away parts of one boat's cockpit that were found lying on the jungle floor. First seen in a video-footage captured from a Tamil Tiger cameraman before he had time to destroy the evidence.
Prepared! Tiger!" is a project by KR in collaboration with Peter Sandbichler
and was first presented in the harbour of Duisburg in April 2006 during
the exhibition "Designing the Truth".
It appeared to be unmanned, although navigated in the harbour environment by a person hidden inside the boat.
Equipped with a silent electrical engine, it stayed invisible for a radar station positioned on the river bank.
Tiger Stealth Boat is opening up a space of technological and
symbolical transcodings. The Tamil appropriation of technology
and symbolic power relies on their equivalents in the US. In
the opposite way the symbolic quality of US stealth technology
is 'infected' by the Tamil video. Even if it was visible the
boat would hardly be decodable; yet it activates the clandestine
dimensions of urban space. A further layer is added to this
scenario by a website through which the stealth boat is offered
up for sale. It is thus fed back into a commercial public context
where its technical invisibility becomes a good that must be
shown. What seems paradoxical is only consequential, both in
the logic of the Tamil Tigers who show off their camouflage
vehicle, and in he logic of the online shop that sells the stealth
foto credit: rainer schlautmann, credit: jorit aust >enlarge image