Communication prac­tices do not merely use me­dia, art and de­sign tools to ex­am­ine and cri­tique is­sues, they can them­selves be­come meth­ods of in­ves­ti­ga­tions. You’re not just ob­serv­ing some­thing as a meme­ber of the art com­mu­nity, but your work might be­come le­gal ev­i­dence. Maybe work does­n’t have to be for tra­di­tional au­di­ences in gal­leries, mass me­dia, pub­li­ca­tions etc., but for lawyers, NGOs, mem­bers of su­pressed com­mu­ni­ties.

Institutional Critique

MoMA Poll (1970)

Here Haecker pro­poses a sys­tem as art. The ques­tion is WOuld the fact that govenor rock­e­feller has not de­nounced pres­i­dent nixons... Rockefeller was the Republican govenor of New York, and Kissinger was also a Trustee of MoMA - all these sys­tems of power are re­lated. David Rockefeller (chair of the trustees) tried to get the piece re­moved.

This is fol­lowed by the Information ex­hi­bi­tion a few years later. At the time, the idea that an art gallery could par­tic­i­pate in po­lit­i­cal de­bate was a rad­i­cal idea. Arguably the idea of in­sti­tu­tional cri­tique has be­come in­sti­tu­tion­alised.

Forensic Architecure

A team of graphic de­sign­ers, artists, ar­chi­tects, lawyers cre­at­ing ev­i­den­tiary arte­facts: Building sur­veys, maps, spa­cial re­pro­duc­tions, videos, 3d mod­els.

Forensis (Lat.) Pertaining to the Forum. Only in the 19th cen­tury does the term come to mean med­ical sci­ence in crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion - its source as a pub­lic fo­rum be­comes lost.

Art gallery as a fo­rum (as much as a court of law).

Piece on NSU mur­ders at Documenta Kassel. Video of a 1:1 scale re­pro­duc­tion of the in­ter­net cafe, mod­el­ling of the spread of gun­pwder - cre­at­ing a counter nar­ra­tive of the events on that day. Cues out­side the video piece call on the German par­lia­men­tary sys­tem to re­con­sider the case. CDU dis­misses this.

FA chal­lenge the di­chotomy be­tween art and ev­i­dence.

[This piece also at the ICA] What hap­pens to a piece like this when most of the vis­i­tors are English art stu­dents? If the piece wins a Turner Prize, does it make it more or less se­ri­ous?

Mark Lombardi

Linar di­a­grams from so­ciograms (a form of draw­ing used in an­thro­pol­ogy to track peo­ple’s re­la­tion­ships.) Lombardi did these on pol­i­tics, col­lapse of an in­ter­na­tional bank etc. Iran-Contra, Vatican Bank, Siverado Savings.

Working from syn­di­cated news items, I be­gin each draw­ing by..

All of this in­for­ma­tion is true (pulled from the pub­lic record). Is this data vi­su­al­i­sa­tion, or a new form of ev­i­dence-mak­ing?

BCCI-ICIC & FAB (1972-91)

Tufte: Art and sci­ence have in­com­mon the act of in­tense see­ing Beautiful Evidence, Links and Causal Arrows: Ambiguity in Action

What ex­actly do the ar­rows mean? Tufte ar­gues that a key, or dic­tio­nary helps to avoid the er­ror of all ar­rows be­ing the same.

Operational Images (Images that see)

Eye ma­chine 1,2,3 in­tro­duces the con­cept of the op­er­a­tional im­age.

im­ages with­out a so­cial goal

ma­chine vi­sion and al­go­rithms pro­duce im­ages by ma­chines for ma­chines. IMages are start­ing to do things in the world. As early as the 1980s, cruise mis­siles had a draw­ing in them of a real land­scape (which they would then com­pare with real im­ages)

Many op­er­a­tional con­tain coloured lines that show us what’s im­por­tant in the im­ages (and what is­n’t). Superfluous re­al­ity is de­nied.

From war­fare to mar­ket­ing, hu­man eyes are be­com­ing ob­so­lete - im­age mak­ing is for ma­chines.

Back to FA

This work in­verts the view of the op­er­a­tional im­age - a re­ver­sal of the foren­sic gaze. They chal­lenge the gov­ern­ments mo­nop­oly on in­for­ma­tion in war. Hence ar­ti­facts like the com­mu­nity satel­lite.

[Spacial Reconstruction of ye­sidi ru­ins]

Part of the work here is to cre­ate in­struc­tions of vol­un­teers to use kites to do de­tailed pho­tograme­try. Photographic arche­ol­ogy. What is in­scribed and recorded in me­dia im­ages? Every cam­era records from both ends - what it records, but also the date and the move­ment of the per­son hold­ing the cam­era.

Threshold of Detectability

When the size of the ob­ject is close to the medium that records it. Work on the drone war in ur­ban en­vi­ron­ments.

FA no­ticed a new kind of ev­i­dence - build­ings that are in­tact, with a small hole in the roof. This is a new kind of mis­sile with a de­lay fuse that det­o­nates in­side a house. When you’re only look­ing at satel­lite im­ages, you can’t see ev­i­dence of these drone strikes. Ob­jects smaller than the pixel grid dis­ap­pear - ob­ject the size of a pixel are on a thresh­old. Legally, pub­lic satel­lite im­ages are lim­ited to 50cm/pixel. In this en­vi­ron­ment, the be­fore and af­ter of a drone strike look iden­ti­cal.

The re­la­tion be­tween satel­lite im­age res­o­lu­tion and mis­sile size al­lows the CIA to nei­ther deny or con­firm the strike. It’s as if the mis­sile is cal­i­brated to the im­age tech­nol­ogy. A 1:1 re­con­struc­tion of the room was shown at the Venice bi­en­nial.

[The un­counted] in the NYT Also the BBC piece on ex­e­cu­tions in Africa