Saturday, November 06, 2021


Spectrum Warfighter 2 Oil on linen 61 x 66 cm 2021

Spectrum warfighters and the Electromagnetic Spectrum
I've got this thing in my head - a picture of a spectrum warfighter. Is it human, is it an enhanced human or is it a robot? The term 'warfighter' can be applied to a living and non-living entity, even an algorithm. The term 'warfighter' is actually a loaded term!

I have painted a few spectrum warfighters recently* - for me, they are entities that use the electromagnetic spectrum [EMS] as a means of fighting wars, in the broadest sense. This could mean as a fixed or moving enabling node in a networked system of interoperable systems and hardware. It could also mean something more, for example, as a disseminator of information or disinformation. It could mean jamming or interrupting an adversary's signals. The spectrum warfighter, whether human or not, is an integral part of contemporary war, in all its iterative and often concurrent manifestations - grey zone, hybrid, cyber. information and kinetic warfare. 

Spectrum Warfighter 2
In my new painting Spectrum Warfighter 2 I have painted VR [virtual reality] goggles that wrap around the warfighter's head. This reflects upon military interest in augmented and integrated visual aides for things like improved situational awareness. Integrated means that the goggles can be, for example, wifi connected to other sensors carried by the warfighter, and also connected to other close or remote warfighters/hardware. Goggles can also be connected to firearms...

 My spectrum warfighter hovers, as if suspended in the sky or space, or maybe its an image on a computer screen? The warfighter's body is not complete. Maybe its torso is a visual metaphor for a system of warfighting, like a logo? Maybe my warfighter is injured, a real or metaphoric casualty? Maybe the warfighter is simply appearing out of a mist? I'll let you wonder on about the possibilities!

Spectrum Warfighting and the Metaverse
My warfighter also has no face or facial features that can help us work out whether it is human, robotic or an avatar. Facial features are obscured by the augmenting goggles, and what might be a balaclava-like hood. Who knows! Your guess is as good as mine!

If my spectrum warfighter is a 'portrait' of an avatar, maybe it is ready for wars in the Metaverse?  

*More Spectrum Warfighters:

Biped and Quadruped Warfighters
Theatre of War: Spectrum Access
Spectrum Warfighting: Invisibility



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