The Architectural Sensorium


Dr. Weizmann is Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is also the founder of Forensic Architecture, an interdisciplinary research agency that works with civil society activists worldwide. Dr. Weizman’s recent publications include Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of Detectability (2017), The Conflict Shoreline (with Fazal Sheikh, 2015), and FORENSIS (with Anselm Franke, 2014).

The Forensic Architecture Research Agency uses architecture as a disciplinary tool and optical device to produce evidence and make claims in political and legal forums, particularly when human testimony is contested, devalued, absent, or disallowed, such as in situations of state violence. The group—which includes architects, scholars, artists, filmmakers, coders, investigative journalists, archaeologists, lawyers, and scientists—employs a variety of evidence sources, including new media, remote sensing, material analysis, witness testimony, and crowd-sourcing to investigate sites of armed conflict and environmental destruction. The agency both articulates and challenges changing ideas of what constitutes public truths while producing evidence that is presented in truth commissions, citizen tribunals, international courts, and human rights and environmental reports. They have been commissioned to conduct investigations all over the world, including, for example, in Belgrade, Pakistan, Syria, Guatemala, the West Bank and Gaza, examining sites of internment camps, drone strikes, torture centers, environmental degradation, and violence resulting from the ongoing Palestinian occupation. The interdisciplinary work of Forensic Architecture engages forensics as “an aesthetic practice because it depends on both the modes and the means by which reality is sensed and presented publicly. Investigative aesthetics slows down time and intensifies sensibility to space, matter and image. It also seeks to devise new modes of narration and the articulation of truth claims.” (Weizman, Forensic Architecture, 2017) In addition to contributing to legal and political forums, the work of Professor Weizman and the Forensic Architecture Research Agency has contributed to expanding understandings of art as social practice and their work was presented in the most recent Documenta 14 art exhibition in Kassel Germany in 2017.

Location details: 

Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, 705 Front Street, Santa Cruz

Invited Audience: 
Event dates: 
02/16/2018 - 5:30pm