English / Deutsch

27.6.2016 | Akademie der Künste (Pariser Platz), Berlin

DISCREET Training #2 – What is Intelligence Power Today?

Training by: Samuel Forsythe (Samuel Forsythe is a researcher in political science and philosophy, with a background in fine art and digital media)

Modern intelligence services provide an integral function for geopolitically engaged states; without them, certain kinds of knowledge cannot be acquired and specific forms of power cannot be projected. As global conflicts develop and interact with information technologies, intelligence services extend their influence and expand their capabilities, with implications for everything from foreign policy to civil liberties and information security. However, while the historical roles of intelligence services have been extensively described and are well understood, an effective conceptual explanation of this specific form of state power has yet to be given. This presentation examines the recent history of intelligence services, from the Cold War until the present, and offers a framework for understanding intelligence power as a set of concepts which have been deployed in various configurations throughout modern history, but which remain consistent in their effects. Particular emphasis will be placed on ‘Great Power’ intelligence services, especially those of the US, UK and the Russian Federation, with the aim of articulating some ‘general principles’ of intelligence, and attempting to answer the vexing problem, ‘what is intelligence power today?’

DISCREET is a project by Armen Avanessian and Alexander Martos in collaboration with Christopher Roth. Commissioned and coproduced by Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art. With the support of Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb, Bundeskanzleramt der Republik Österreich – Kunstsektion and Rudolf Augstein Stiftung.