Forensic Aesthetics

Eyal Weizman

Forensic science has signified a shift in the communicative capacity and agency of things. This material approach is evident through the ubiquitous role technologies now play in determining contemporary ways of seeing and knowing. Today’s legal and political decisions are often based upon the capacity to read and present DNA samples, 3-D scans, nanotechnology, and the enhanced vision of electromagnetic microscopes and satellite surveillance, which extends from the topography of the seabed to the remnants of destroyed or bombed-out buildings. This is not just science, but rhetoric carrying considerable geopolitical, socioeconomic, environmental, scientific, and cultural implications. Forensic aesthetics is thus the mode of appearance of things in forums—the gestures, techniques, and technologies of demonstration, methods of theatricality, narrative, and dramatization; image enhancements and technologies of projection; the creation and demolition of reputation, credibility, and competence.

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