Counter Investigations

Counter Investigations: Forensic Architecture

The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA)

London, 7 March – 13 May 2018

Counter Investigations is a survey exhibition of the work of Forensic Architecture.

‘Forensic Architecture’ is not only the name of the agency but a form of investigative practice that traverses architectural, journalistic, legal and political fields, and moves from theoretical examination to practical application.

The work of Forensic Architecture has responded to the widespread increase in availability of digital recording equipment, satellite imaging and remote sensing technology, alongside platforms for data sharing. While such developments have contributed to the complexity of forms of conflict and control, they have also enabled new means of monitoring. Grounded in the use of architecture as an ‘analytic device’, Forensic Architecture’s investigations employ spatial and material analysis, mapping and reconstruction, and extend outwards to overlay elements of witness testimony and the cumulative forms of visual documentation enabled by contemporary media.

Counter Investigations presents a selection of recent and new investigations by Forensic Architecture. These address cases including the racist murder of a man in Kassel, Germany by a member of a far-right group, and instances of deferred responsibility by state agencies that have contributed to the deaths of migrants at sea in the Mediterranean. As historically contextualised interrogations of contemporary social and political processes, these investigations put forward a form of ‘counter-forensics’. They serve as sites for the pursuit of public accountability through scientific and aesthetic means, in opposition to the monopolisation of narratives around events by state agencies.

The individual investigations presented function as anchors for public events, workshops and discussions, with the exhibition as the physical infrastructure for the curriculum of a short course in forensic architecture.

Supported by The Forensic Architecture Exhibition Supporters Circle and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts

Installation photography © Mark Blower

Exhibition Team

Director of Forensic Architecture:
Eyal Weizman

Researcher in Charge:
Christina Varvia

Richard Birkett

Forensic Architecture Exhibition Team:
Ariel Caine
Franc Camps Febrer
Stefan Laxness
Stefanos Levidis
Nicholas Masterton
Samaneh Moafi
Sarah Nankivell
Elena Paca
Robert Preuss
Grace Quah
Theo Resnikoff
Simone Rowat
Nathan Su
Bob Trafford
William Winfield

Exhibition Graphics together with:
Wayne Daly & Claire Lyon, Matthew Chrislip


Forensic Architecture: Counter Investigations @ ICA | The White Pube, 22-29 April 2018

Forensics helps widen architecture’s mission | New York Times, 6 April 2018

Forensic Architecture | The World Today with Tariq Ali, 6 April 2018

The whole truth and nothing but the truth | Elephant Magazine, 14 March 2018

Architecture helps hold the guilty to account | RIBA Journal, 13 March 2018

In the aftermath of violence, Forensic Architecture reconstructs the truth | Metropolis, 8 March 2018

Buildings that can turn detective in uncovering the truth | Evening Standard, 7 March 2018

Forensic Architecture – from rubble and ruins to justice | Financial Times, 6 March 2018

Forensic Architecture: where art meets activism | BBC Newsnight, 6 March 2018

A forensic examination | Goldsmiths News, 6 March 2018

Challenging Fake News with Aesthetics | GARAGE Magazine, 26 February 2018

Architecture as forensic evidence in global crimes against humanity | Archinect, 26 February 2018

Forensic Architecture: The detail behind the devilry | The Guardian, 25 February 2018

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