Matthew Fuller and Eyal Weizman, Investigative Aesthetics: Conflicts and Commons in the Politics of Truth – Verso, August 2021
Today, artists are engaged in investigation. They probe corruption, human rights violations, environmental crimes and technological domination. At the same time, areas not usually thought of as artistic make powerful use of aesthetics. Journalists and legal professionals pore over opensource videos and satellite imagery to undertake visual investigations. This combination of diverse fields is what the authors call “investigative aesthetics”: the mobilisation of sensibilities associated with art, architecture and other such practices in order to speak truth to power.
Investigative Aesthetics draws on theories of knowledge, ecology and technology; evaluates the methods of citizen counter-forensics, micro-history and art; and examines radical practices such as those of WikiLeaks, Bellingcat, and Forensic Architecture. These new practices take place in the studio and the laboratory, the courtroom and the gallery, online and in the streets, as they strive towards the construction of a new common sense.
Matthew Fuller and Eyal Weizman have here provided an inspiring introduction to a new field that will change how we understand and confront power today.