Pat Palermo, 2009. Courtesy of Bose Pacia Gallery.
Truth technologies at the service of law from the Lie Detector to Narco-Analysis have made a sudden reappearance in the world after 9/11. In the Indian context, high profile cases including Abu Salem and Telgi’s have centered on highly performative extractions of the truth, which are often televised on television. This paper attempts to provide a philosophical and cultural history of technologies of lie detection. It looks at the ways in which truth and lies were rendered technologically accessible, and how the body simultaneously becomes the archive of the soul and in turn produces a new regime of physiological truth. Popular discourse on crime and detection are vital to the legitimacy of these technologies of truth, and in many ways lie detectors were legitimized through popular culture before the found acceptance in law. This paper will locate the re-emergence of lie detectors within the dynamics of secrets and lies in the hyper mediatised world that we live in.