Threshold of Detectability

Forensic Architecture

The threshold of detectability is the state of visibility at which an object teeters on the brink of being observable or not observable. This is an epistemologically enriched status in forensic terms. In it the materiality of the thing represented—a building for example—and the materiality of the thing representing that object—a film, digital photo, or satellite image—both its material state and the mechanical means whereby this condition is archived/witnessed, come simultaneously into view and under intense scrutiny. On either side of the threshold of detectability, when an object is captured either in high resolution or recorded at such a low resolution that there is nothing to be seen, we can only examine one or the other of its states, the object represented or the surface representing that thing.

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