Forensic Imagination


This cultural notion of forensics asks: how might nonscientific materials such as artworks be provoked into offering a counter-testimonial to the historical narratives into which they had previously been written? Contrary to scientific conceptions of forensics as the means of uncovering the unequivocal truth of what transpired, the term forensic imagination is predicated upon enlarging the field of enunciation through the creative retrieval and mobilization of affects. Rather than a search for empirical truths, its objectives are oriented towards an expansion of the object’s or artifact’s expressive potential. As Donna Haraway has suggested, “Redistributing the narrative field by telling another version of a crucial myth is a major process in crafting new meanings. One version never replaces another, but the whole field is rearranged in interrelation among all the versions in tension with each other.” In forensic science, every contact is perceived as leaving a trace. In forensic imagination every encounter is capable of being retraced.

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