In the book Barbed Wire: An Ecology of Modernity (Wesleyan University Press 2004) Reviel Netz has written a history of barbed wire from its agricultural beginnings in the late 19th Century America to its military and political uses in the late 20th Century. I havent had the chance as yet to read this book but have enjoyed the interview with Netz in Cabinet Magazine issue 22.
I have been noticing barbed wire, it is used on some of the fences that have been erected around the olympic site. Fences that cut across through routes. Obstructions. The structures of ownership control and fear. How space is divided, secured, occupied and owned is something that I keep coming back to and it is probably a response to being a city where space is scarce.