Investigative Aesthetics

Join us on Wednesday 6th October 2021 at 15.00 (online) for our next research event with Matthew Fuller, reflecting on some of the key aspects of his recent book with Eyal Weizman, Investigative Aesthetics (Verso, August 2021).

The investigative paradigm reconstructs incidents around clusters of specific details in order to discern the world of which they are part. Investigations often start from a site or a specific point: a controversy, a local debate, an incident, an accident, a detail. From this point of individuation an investigation follows different threads that lead outwards along complex paths of causality. Disentangling these threads needs different forms of knowledge, experience and expertise.  These may for instance be computational and procedural or spatial and analytical.

Investigative aesthetics is, in part, a process of collectively assembling accounts of incidents from media flotsam. It involves tuning into and interpreting weak signals and noticing unintentional evidence registered in visual, audio or data files or in the material composition of our environment, itself understood as a mediating condition. It also refers to the use of aesthetic sensibilities in assembling cases, in editing material into effective film and videos or installations. In these constructions, each found element is not a piece of evidence in itself but rather an entry point to find connections with others, a part in a heterogeneous assemblage that allows for navigation across and the weaving together of disparate elements.

Join us online at:

“Introduction” to Investigative Aesthetics (Verso 2021).

Matthew Fuller is Professor of Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. Publications include: How to Sleep: the art, biology and culture of unconsciousness (Bloomsbury 2018); How to be a Geek, essays on the culture of software (Polity 2017); with Andrew Goffey, Evil Media (MIT 2012); with Olga Goriunova, Bleak Joys, aesthetics of ecology and impossibility (Minnesota 2019); and with Eyal Weizman, Investigative Aesthetics, conflicts and commons in the politics of truth (Verso 2021).