Geoforensics

Forensic Architecture

In relation to contemporary forms of violence that are thriving under the cover of environmental complexity, new technologies of forensic analysis and remote sensing are becoming increasingly relevant for legal disputes. While techniques such as DNA analysis, bone sampling, or mass spectrometry have revolutionized the practice of legal medicine—allowing an investigator to determine whether the presence of a toxic metal in a body resulted from criminal action—the development of satellite spectral imagery, ground-penetrating radar, and reflective seismology have made visible previously imperceptible aspects of the earth. In cases where the geological and human domains are intimately connected, forensics and geosciences can no longer remain separate. The term geoforensics stresses that such practices must come together to form a common enquiry, making it possible to investigate human rights claims and environmental disputes as part of a common condition. But more than the application of scientific expertise to legal disputes, geoforensics is a practice that mobilizes the translation, analysis, and visualization of the earth for the urgent reformulation of contemporary political disputes.

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