Fuller, Weizman: Investigative Aesthetics

Investigative Aesthetics 
Conflicts and Commons in the Politics of Truth

Matthew Fuller
Eyal Weizman

Published by Verso, 2021
ISBN 9781788739085

Today, journalists, legal professionals, activists, and artists challenge the state’s monopoly on investigation and the production of narratives of truth. They probe corruption, human rights violations, environmental crimes, and technological domination. Organisations such as WikiLeaks, Bellingcat, or Forensic Architecture pore over open-source videos and satellite imagery to undertake visual investigations. This combination of diverse fields is what Fuller and Weizman call ‘investigative aesthetics’: the mobilisation of sensibilities associated with art, architecture, and other such practices in order to challenge power.

Investigative Aesthetics draws on theories of knowledge, ecology and technology; evaluates the methods of citizen counter-forensics, micro-history and art. These new practices take place in the studio and the laboratory, the courtroom and the gallery, online and in the streets, as they strive towards the construction of a new common sense.

Matthew Fuller and Eyal Weizman speak to Pierre d’Alancaisez about the logics behind Forensic Architecture and the evidentiary turn: the aesthetics of distributed sensing, the investigative commons, and the condition of hyperaesthesia.

Matthew Fuller is a Professor of Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Media Ecologies, and with Andrew Goffey, Evil Media.

Eyal Weizman is the founder and director of Forensic Architecture and Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Hollow LandThe Least of All Possible Evils, and Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability.

Frans-Willem Korsten: Art as an Interface of Law and Justice

Art as an Interface of Law and Justice 
Affirmation, Disturbance, Disruption

Frans-Willem Korsten

Published by Hart, 2021
ISBN 9781509944347

Art as an Interface of Law and Justice looks at the way in which the ‘call for justice’ is portrayed through art and presents a wide range of texts from film to theatre to essays and novels to interrogate the law. Such calls may have their positive connotations, but throughout history most have caused annoyance. Art is very well suited to deal with such annoyance, or to provoke it.

Frans-Willem Korsten speaks with Pierre d’Alancaisez about art that attempts to support – or disturb – law in pursuit of justice. He discusses Milo Rau’s The Congo Tribunal, Valeria Luiselli’s novel Lost Children Archive, the practice of Forensic Architecture, and Nicolas Winding Refn’s film Only God Forgives. Through art’s interface, impasses are addressed, new laws are made imaginable, the span of systems of laws is explored, and the differences in what people consider to be just are brought to light. 

Frans-Willem Korsten holds the chair in “Literature and Society” at the Erasmus School of Philosophy and works at the Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society in the Netherlands.