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Screening & Discussion: The Otolith Group on “INFINITY minus Infinity”
25 March 2021

INFINITY minus Infinity draws on several inspirations: the modernist verse of the Jamaican poet Una Marson, the alluvial invocations of the Martinican philosopher and poet Édouard Glissant, the black feminist poetics of the Brazilian philosopher Denise Ferreira da Silva, and the racial formation of geology theorised by British geographer Kathryn Yusoff amongst others in order to envision a black feminist cosmos animated by the principles of mathematical nihilism.The phrase “hostile environment” invokes the covert policy of targeting migrants enacted by the UK Conservative government since 2014. It stands for the criminalization of the Afro-Caribbean women and men that migrated to Britain in the 1950s to help reconstruct its industrial infrastructure after the war. INFINITY minus Infinity extends its confrontation with the ongoing hostile environment into an interscalar movement between times and spaces. It brings together dance, performance, music, recital, and digital animation to compose a transhistorical zone in which the unpayable debts of racial capitalism cannot be separated from the ongoing crimes of climate catastrophe.

FA/CRA Forum: Ariella Aïsha Azoulay on “Unlearning Imperial Temporality: Crimes Against Humanity and Repair”
17 March 2021

Ariella Aïsha Azoulay will discuss “Unlearning Imperial Temporality” in relation to the work of Forensic Architecture. Imperial temporality facilitates imperial crimes. The category of the ‘extrajudicial execution’ is a paradigmatic example. The category refers to a situation where a person has been killed without a judicial process. However, it is this dissociation of such killing from the legal system that camouflage that the extrajudicial killing is part of an ongoing crime against humanity.  Unlearning imperial temporality would require finding the source of the legality of the extrajudicial killing. Extrajudicial killing doesn’t violate the law or happens without a legal process; it is rather the eruption of the dazzling clarity of the legal system. Unlearning imperial temporality requires attending to the root of the legal regime, to the imperial rights it is made to protect, without which these killings will not be made into discrete cases that at best can be proven to be in violation of the legal system rather then its intended outcome. Forensically speaking, unlearning imperial temporality requires potentializing the temporality of the ‘extrajudicial killing’ and making it appear for what it is - a crime against humanity. In my presentation I’ll discuss a few examples of potentializing history and the importance of the category of crimes against humanity for the discourse of repair.

Key Work: Evelina Gambino & Tekla Aslanishvili on "Algorythmic Island"
2 March 2021

In this talk Evelina Gambino & Tekla Aslanishvili discuss the challenges, conflicts and negotiations that have shaped their individual and collective work in Anaklia and across other infrastructural spaces in Georgia. Born in the field, their collaboration and friendship has travelled across different settings and countries to become a daily element of their respective lives. The continuous conversation in which they are engaged unfolds through different media, from text messages to written samples, stills of Aslanishvili‘s film, meetings, discussions, phone calls, etc. This process is a testament to the impossibility of treating the field as a bounded object as well as fieldwork as an experience that can be contained by any strict time/space or discipline. Bringing together these different political, affective and practical elements, Gambino &  Aslanishvili will discuss their practice and future projects.

Key Work: Crofton Black on "Unredacting the Black Sites"
23 February 2021

Since 2010 Crofton Black has worked alongside organisations including Reprieve, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and The Rendition Project to map out the logistics underpinning the CIA's network of secret prisons, operated from 2002 to 2006 to hold and interrogate suspected terrorists. In 2016, with the artist Edmund Clark, he published Negative Publicity: Artefacts of Extraordinary Rendition, an exploration of his investigation through documents and photographs. His 2019 publication with Sam Raphael and Ruth Blakeley, CIA Torture Unredacted, offered a further layer of analysis through the lens of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on detention by the CIA. In this talk he will offer an insight into the methods of interpretation that he and his colleagues used in analysing this heavily censored body of material to build up a comprehensive picture of the CIA's detention network, spatially and chronologically, and those held in it.

Key Work: Carey Young on “Palais de Justice”
2 December 2020

Since 2002, visual artist Carey Young has developed a number of artworks that are also functional legal instruments, and which have conceptualised and explored law as an artistic medium. “Palais de Justice” was filmed surreptitiously at the Palais de Justice in Brussels, an enormous and ornate 19th century courthouse designed to depict law in terms of the sublime. Contradicting the familiar patriarchal culture of law, Young's camera depicts female judges and lawyers at court. Sitting at trial, directing proceedings or delivering judgments, female judges are seen through a series of circular windows in courtroom doors. The piece considers the complex relations between lenses, surveillance and ideas of framing or being framed, which are at the core of the law-related work Young has been developing for more than a decade.