Investigative Aesthetics: Conflicts and Commons in the Politics of Truth by Matthew Fuller and Eyal Weizman [for Art Monthly]

Review published in Art Monthly no. 449. September 2021

You can buy issue 449 of Art Monthly here.

What I was struck by was the simultaneous inversion of the meanings that each word of the title are pregnant with. Behind the two major terms, ‘investigation’ and ‘aesthetics’, is a tense and intense philosophical project. Aesthetics, which one might take as

the more intangible aspect concerned with judgement, beauty and connoisseurship, is focused almost exclusively on notions of material. Here we find the materialisation of networks, of traces, impacts, readings and what constitutes a sensor. It concretises the nebulous ecosystem in which we live.

Conversely, investigations could be understood through the group’s gathering and presentation of irrefutable facts, of hard evidence. However, the second act of the book is discursive in method and always concerned with epistemes, of process, of modes of knowledge making. It is here that space, time and causality, three pillars of philosophy, are explicitly explored. They are abstracted from the material world and used as coordinates from which to measure, remeasure and countermeasure how truth is crafted and arrived at.

The full review can be downloaded here.

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