Homeland Security Advisory System

Stephan Trüby
Berlin, February 24th 2007, 15:30 - 16:00

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Since 2002, a blueprint for escape route coding has been in place in the United States: the colour-coded terror alert levels set by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), called “5 Codes”. Even though the colour sequence does not correspond with the rising wavelength of the colours in the spectrum (blue comes before green), the US government was still clever to choose the rainbow motif, as the “Rainbow Warrior” Isaac Newton with his prismatic analysis of “white divine light” made a major contribution to the dawn of the age of risk . The 5 Codes are exit and relaxation codifications in the age of an outside inside the law. Woven into them is a subtext of readiness, flight and evacuation measures. Sometimes they keep a population on their toes, sometimes not, they slow the tempo down and speed it up as well. They are invisible distribution corridors with regulators for the flow of movement, rudimentary notations of a state choreography for a country that is escaping.

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