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Notes from the talk.


Simon Cole Skyped in (cool!)

seen, found, interpretated, used as evidence

Simon Cole
Global governance of
Theoretical criminology
wrote about Vanouse's installation "Fingerprints"

hidden truth is supposed to be readable by surface traces
latent print trace of the source finger
It's not only the author of the crime, but also the narrative of what happened at the crime is the forensic fantasy.
Revealing a true identity of an imposter by actively taking the imprint is another use of the tech
Revealing the character of the human (by reading faces, bumps, etc)--criminal types--is another promise of such technologies throughout history.

1990s "crime gene" conversation

art is also discussed as something that is revealing
resonances between art connoisseurship and forensic identification

It is in the small gestures that a forger reveals himself
There is a forged Pollack that has a faked fingerprint on it. But it is recognizable as fake.
Essence vs surface

essence can be surface
surface can be essence

intention can be revelation
revelation can be intention

mechanical objectivity (from scientific history)
scientists claim objectivity in imaging. Lack of intent. But this is a very shaky claim.

The technology has changed but the goals and the conversation around the essence and the traces have not. We still have eugenics, race, revelation, etc. Nothing has changed since reading head bumps.

The search for the essence of race has not been discredited. Diversity is the same as racism. Race to the finish=genetic diversity project.

Race as a race. Race as a hierarchy. Evolutionary competition.

Racial categories are still created by physiological characteristics, even with DNA

The problem is not that the technology is not good enough yet to read the body, but that the reading of the body is in itself problematic.


Paul Vanouse is the artist of Fingerprints
role of images in art and science

Can be seen at Sharing Stiftung on Unter den Linden. There is also something here in the Hackaway Zone.


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