“Counter Investigations: Forensic Architecture”
              Naomi Pearce
              In his 2014 lecture “The Future of Forensic Science in Criminal Trials,” judge Thomas of Cwmgiedd, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, identified a communication problem. In light of the increasingly complex science used in court, he called for a set of judicial primers: standardized documents, written in “plain English,” to relay core scientific principles to lawyer, judge, and jury. Contrary to narratives propagated by popular crime dramas, he argued: “however eminent and reliable the expert, the presentation of forensic evidence is rarely black and white.” The slippery, kaleidoscopic status of evidence feels like the point and not the problem in “Counter Investigations, a survey of work by Forensic Architecture, a research collective of academics, investigative journalists, and creative practitioners including architects, programmers, and filmmakers. Slickly installed across the Institute of Contemporary Art’s two floors, a series of multi-disciplinary investigations into human rights abuses and armed conflict unfold across video installations, models, and wall graphics. Described by Forensic Architecture founder Eyal Weizman as “the archaeology of the very recent past,” the group use forensic methods to map and reconstruct sites, such as the Saydnaya Prison in Syria, or events, such as Israeli military operations in Rafah, Gaza, in August 2014. The …

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