Author(s): Nora Khan + Steven Warwick
For this project - first introduced as a lecture at the ICA in London and Union Docs in New York - writer Nora Khan and artist/musician Steven Warwick combed through seminal episodes of the X- Files to closely examine the evolving climate of fear during the Clinton era. This period is remarkable in that it marked the birth of the Internet and an era of networked communication, while also operating within an increasingly dense cloud of paranoia. The X-Files spoke to the psychological anxieties of this complex time: Aliens replaced Communism, and fear of ghosts, and the paranormal prefaced our current Islamophobic climate, with deregulated neoliberalism continually hovering, like an invisible man in the room. The X-Files posited fear as an inherent quality of domestic life in America, and its fear index was crucially linked to use and representation of the early internet.