A new field of counterinvestigation across in human rights, art and law
Today, artists are engaged in investigation. They probe corruption, human rights violations, environmental crimes and technological domination. At the same time, areas not usually thought of as artistic make powerful use of aesthetics. Journalists and legal professionals pore over opensource videos and satellite imagery to undertake visual investigations. This combination of diverse fields is what the authors call “investigative aesthetics”: the mobilisation of sensibilities associated with art, architecture and other such practices in order to speak truth to power.
Investigative Aesthetics draws on theories of knowledge, ecology and technology; evaluates the methods of citizen counter-forensics, micro-history and art; and examines radical practices such as those of WikiLeaks, Bellingcat, and Forensic Architecture. 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 have here provided an inspiring introduction to a new field that will change how we understand and confront power today.
To Nour Abuzaid for your brilliance, perseverance, and unshaken belief in the liberation of Palestine.
About the Author
Matthew Fuller is an author and Professor of Cultural Studies at the Department of Media and Communications, at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is known for his writings in media theory, software studies, critical theory and cultural studies.He is the author of Media Ecologies, and with Andrew Goffey, Evil Media.
Eyal Weizman directs the Centre for Research Architecture and the international investigative project, Forensic Architecture. He is the author of Hollow Land, The Least of All Possible Evils, and Forensic Architecture. After a hugely acclaimed exhibition at the ICA, Forensic Architecture was shortlisted for the 2018 Turner Prize. They have exhibited around the world, and in 2019, their work was included in the Whitney Biennial.
“Sharp … [Investigative Aesthetics] is invaluable as a hyper-aesthetic object itself.” —Michael Eby, Los Angeles Review of Books
“Aesthetics is a battleground, a contested space; Investigative Aesthetics is part battle-plan or tactical guide and, more fundamentally, part user’s manual for surviving this beautiful and terrifying world.” —Mark Rappolt, ArtReview
“A fascinating treatise on how our political world functions today and how we might seek to interrupt it.” —Jack Smurthwaite, Art Monthly
“Expansive … [Fuller and Weizman] explore sense and sense-making in its fullest political terms: understanding the systemic forces of capitalism as well as an individual’s sense of morality.” —Chris Hayes, Tribune