VIOLENCE AT THE THRESHOLD OF DETECTABILITY With Eyal Weizman, Eitan Diamond, Doreen Mende


Monday, February 22, 2016, 10am to 9pm

Tuesday, February 23, 2016, 10am to 6pm


Universität / Haute École
Haute école d'art et de design – Genève
Eyal Weizman, Eitan Diamond, Doreen Mende
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

The two-days session departs from the essay Violence at the Threshold of Detectability by Eyal Weizman. The text elaborates on case studies of research groups of the long-term FORENSIS project that develops a vocabulary for the production of images as material evidences in political ecologies, environmental rights, war and humanitarian violence. It addresses image-making processes as a spatial practice. The two-days session will discuss questions such as: How can an image operate as material evidence? What can research in visual cultures do for questions of law and justice? What are the limits to construct the architecture of memory by visual means? In which way can we understand the image as geospatial politics? What to do with ‘holes’ in the materiality of events? What is a ‘media blackout’?


DAY ONE: Monday, February 22, 2016

10am-1.30am. We will read the text Violence at the Threshold of Detectability (2015) to open up an understanding for research as spatial-visual practices that use the means of visual cultures for interventions in legal processes. How can that, on which we work inside of an art academy, become relevant for situations outside of the art academy? The morning will end with a screening of Images of the World and the Inscription of War by Harun Farocki (1988, 75min). Farocki’s film provides an educational framework to learn to ‘read’ images. It will help us to contextualise contemporary image practices in relation to their technological histories. It also will address the paradox of images that both reveal and conceal structures of war and violence. The objective of this part is to develop together a vocabulary for naming the visual traces for constructing material evidences. The main objective here is to be as precise as possible in detecting visual traces. This will include also the question of material absences. We will create working protocols for collecting main aspects from reading the text and film in order to relate them later to own concrete research questions.


1.30pm-2.30pm Lunch Break


2.30pm-5pm We will continue from the working protocol with the aim to formulate relevant questions towards the material limits of the image. How can we understand ‘violence at the threshold of detectability’ in relation to own research questions / projects / processes? During the afternoon, the participants will be asked to form groups. The case studies can result from any context / interface / geography / struggle that carry problematics of geospatial constellations, that only exist through our encounter with an image, that struggle with ‘media blackouts’ when independent media reports are under siege or that are controversial images, images as maps of conflicts, etc. Each group will propose concrete situations in which the question of the image at the threshold of detectability is at stake. The aim of the day is, before the public lecture, to realize small presentations to each other as exercises to detail as precise as possible the materialization of an event in question.



More information soon:


DAY TWO: Tuesday, February 23, 2016



The day will start with a debriefing moment discussing questions with Eyal, as they emerged after the public lecture on Violence at the Threshold of Detectability. Please prepare yourself by reflecting on your notes from the day before also in relation to your own concerns / case studies. Each group should also be able to present its case study briefly to the whole group. We will hear in detail about the process of production of ‘networked evidence’ developed through the FORENSIS project. Before the lunch break, Eitan Diamond will report from his insights drawn from his experience as legal / human rights / humanitarian practitioner using visual data and other types of aggregated data. His focus will include aspects of new information and communication technologies on the application of law in armed conflict, as reflected also in his involvement in documentary film projects. The morning will provide the possibility to hear about issues of scaling (‘modulor’), cross-examination, duration, collective efforts, data-technologies and limits in research work.


1.30pm-2.30pm Lunch Break



The afternoon will start with a group work session: Each group will work on its case study, this time in mind with the question of visualization as an assembled network. What visual technologies have been discussed to process research into a material statement with the potency to operate as evidence? What of the discussed proposals appear to be relevant for one’s own research? Each group will present its ideas to the other groups open for discussion. This will invite the participants to test a vocabulary that will enable the groups to speak about a complex situation to an audience that might be (most likely) unfamiliar with the particular case study. In the presence of the architect and the lawyer, it also will be an exercise to process artistic thinking, visual research and trans-disciplinary work that may want to operate in support for non-artistic / legal interventions. If there is time, we will watch together another short video (to be announced).



A maximum of 20 participants will participate in the work session. Please write a short motivation statement (100 words) until February 15, 2016 to


The lecture by Eyal Weizman on Feb 22 at 7pm is obligatory for the participants of the work session while public and open to everyone:


Required preparations / readings:

Eyal Weizman, Violence at the Threshold of Detectability, 2014. Text available as a PDF here:

Tom Keenan, ‘Light Weapons,’ in: Thomas Elsässer (ed.) Harun Farocki. Working on the Sightlines, 2004, pp.203–210. Text available as a PDF here:

Susan Schuppli, ‘Entering Evidence. Cross-Examining the Court Records of the ICTY,’ in: Forensic Architecture (ed.), Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth, 2014, pp. 279–314. PDF available here:


Further readings / viewings:

Georges Didi-Huberman, first chapter of Images Despite of All, 2008, pp. 2–47. (PDF in English available upon request)

Sharon Sliwinski, conference contribution to Flood of Rights, September 2013, Arles/France, organised by Center for Curatorial Studies Bard College. (Full program here:


Eyal Weizman is an architect, Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures, and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. Since 2011, he also directs Forensic Architecture, whose collection FORENSIS was published by Sternberg Press in 2014. He is a founding member of the architectural collective DAAR in Beit Sahour/Palestine. His books include Mengele’s Skull (with Thomas Keenan at Sternberg Press, 2012), Forensic Architecture (dOCUMENTA13 notebook, 2012), The Least of all Possible Evils (Nottetempo 2009, Verso 2011), Hollow Land (Verso, 2007), A Civilian Occupation (Verso, 2003), the series Territories 1,2 and 3, Yellow Rhythms and many articles in journals, magazines and edited books. He has worked with a variety of NGOs worldwide, and was a member of the B’Tselem board of directors. He lectured, curated and organised conferences in many institutions worldwide.


Eitan Diamond is a lawyer for international humanitarian and human rights law. He was as a research and legal advisor at the NGO B’tselem: The Israeli Information Center for Human Right in the Occupied Territories  (2005-7) and later a legal adviser to the ICRC Delegation in Israel and the Occupied Territories (2007-14). He subsequently served as Executive Director of the Israeli NGO Gisha - Legal Center for Freedom of Movement (2014-15). In addition, he was among the founders of the London-based international NGO Videre Est Credere, which seeks to expose and uproot human rights violations using video documentation. He also provided legal consultancy for ‘Forensic Architecture’ projects. Currently, Eitan is pursuing doctoral research exploring the impact of new information and communication technologies on the application of law in armed conflict and other situations of organised violence. Furthermore, he is involved in documentary film projects which relate, in various ways, to the role, limits, failure and corruption of international law in the Israeli-Palestinian context. He contributes to an initiative of Israeli based lawyers and artists exploring options for collaborative projects. 


Doreen Mende is an independent curator and theorist who works on geopolitics in exhibiting processes. Recent research projects include KP Brehmer Real Capital – Production (2014, London); Travelling Communiqué (2012-14, Belgrade, Addis Ababa, Arnhem, Berlin), Double Bound Economies (2010-13, Leipzig, Zurich, Geneva, Berlin). Mende is co-editor of e-flux journal 59 Harun Farocki (2014). With friends and colleagues, she is currently assembling the Harun Farocki Institut in Berlin. PhD in Curatorial/Knowledge, Goldsmiths, University of London. Associate faculty member of the Dutch Art Institute. Since September 2015, responsible professor for the CCC-Master Program at HEAD in Geneva.