Symposium participants and presentations
A Thousand Eyes - Media Technology, Law, and Aesthetics
Morten Bergsmo will, in his presentation “Beauty and Access in the Shadow of International Justice,” consider the role given to beauty and access in international justice institutions and processes. He will reflect on the use of architecture, logos, robes, public information, the Internet, and choreography. He draws on 12 years of experience from international criminal justice in The Hague, where he was the first lawyer in the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and founded the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court. Morten Bergsmo is Senior Researcher, University of Oslo; Visiting Professor, Georgetown University (2010-); Visiting Fellow, Stanford University; and ICC Consultant (Co-ordinator of the ICC Legal Tools Project since 2006). He has worked as Special Adviser to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution of Norway (2007-08); Co-ordinator of the establishment of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor (2002-03); Legal Adviser, International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) (1994-2002); and Legal Adviser, UN Commission of Experts for the Former Yugoslavia established pursuant to Security Council resolution 780(1992) (1993-94). Since 2005, he has worked more closely with national capacity building, knowledge-transfer and legal empowerment in the area of core international crimes in more than 25 countries. He has published extensively in international criminal law. He founded and is the Director of the Forum of International Criminal and Humanitarian Law and the Case Matrix Network.
Costas Douzinas will discuss the aesthetics of law and trials, from a historical, political and phenomenological perspective. He will argue that legal and moral codes are intimately involved in our ways of seeing, determining the “regimes of visibility” of each society and epoch. The introduction of visual technologies in the courtroom intensifies law's regulation of the image and constructs a common, but ambiguous idea of humanity. Costas Douzinas is Professor of Law, Director of the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities and Pro-Vice Chancellor at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is a founding member of the Critical Legal Conference; founding member of the Birkbeck Law School and the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities; managing editor of Law and Critique: The International Journal of Critical Legal Thought; managing director of the publishing house Birkbeck Law Press. Costas has written extensively in legal and political philosophy, human rights, aesthetics, literature, art and critical theory. His books include Postmodern Jurisprudence; Justice Miscarried; Law and Psychoanalysis; The End of Human Rights; Law and the Image; Critical Jurisprudence; Nomos and Aesthetics; Human Rights and Empire; Adieu Derrida; and The Idea of Communism (edited with Slavoj Zizek). His New Critical Legal Studies, The Philosophy of Human Rights and his Left and Rights will appear in 2012.
Sidsel Meineche Hansen and Lorenzo Pezzani will discuss Model Court, an ongoing research project and body of work, made in collaboration with artists Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Oliver Rees. Model Court uses the structure and technologies of the courtroom to interrogate the spatial, aesthetic and geopolitical aspects of legal procedure. The material produced by the project includes exhibitions, lectures, performances and workshops that appropriate techniques of jurisprudence, evidence and the apparatuses that become the essential constituents of tribunals and the public dissemination of verdicts. The artists will focus on their research into the audio-visual infrastructure used for the trial of the Rwandan national Francois Bazaramba, who received asylum in Finland, and was later convicted by the Finnish state for his role in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide. The work examines how the legal status of “truths” is established via a host of new technologies of representation, though relay of the visual performance of bodies in space and the aural affect of voice.
Sidsel Meineche Hansen is an artist and a researcher. She studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, the Staedelschule in Frankfurt am Main and recently received her Masters from Goldsmiths, University of London, at the Centre for Research Architecture.
Lorenzo Pezzani is a researcher based in London. He is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Research Architecture (Goldsmiths). His work focuses on the spatial politics of colonialism, human rights and media.
Marit Paasche is an art critic, curator and writer. Her field of specialty is contemporary art, with a particular focus on video art and experimental film by artists like Stan Brakhage, Gunvor Nelson, Hollis Frampton, Hito Steyerl and Rosalind Nashashibi. She is the editor of several books, including A Thousand Eyes. Media Technology, Law and Aesthetics with Judy Radul (Sternberg Press, 2011); Urban Images: Unruly Desires in Film and Architecture with Synne Bull (Sternberg Press 2011); and An Eye For Time. Video Art and Reality (Pax, 2004). Currently, she is working on a compilation of essays discussing the relationship between film and visual arts entitled How Cinema Got a Hold on Art: A Cinematic Approach.
Judy Radul’s practice includes video installation, photography, sculpture, and performance. Her latest work World Rehearsal Court draws on her research into the role of theatricality and new technologies in the court of law. The large-scale media installation questions the distinctions between experience, testimony, truth, and fiction that the law attempts to make distinct. Radul is currently Chair of the graduate program at the School for the Contemporary Arts, Simon Fraser University and her creative writing and essays on theatre, performance art and visual art have appeared in a variety of publications. She is represented by Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver.
Anders Ryssdal is a partner in the Wiersholm lawfirm with twenty years of experience in corporate law and litigation. He specializes in international law, financial law, competition/EU law and human rights, and has litigated a number of cases before all domestic courts as well as international courts. Ryssdal has a Juris Doctorate in law, and has previously worked at the Solicitor General’s office, the Faculty of law, and as a judge in the Hålogaland High Court. He has chaired three law committees, and was the president of the Norwegian Bar Association (Advokatforeningen) from 2004 till 2008.
Eyal Sivan will discuss how the use of the cinema screen and film screenings in the Nuremberg court, in 1946, as well as the filming of its trials, mark a pivotal moment in documentary cinema. In 1961, Alain Resnais’ documentary Night and Fog (1955), mainly composed of stock footage from concentration camps, was screened during the Eichmann trial in Nuremberg, Jerusalem. The introduction of film into the court—the use of montage and aesthetics as new forms of evidence—marks also the encounter between the perpetrator and the cinematic representation of the crimes for which he has been accused. As crimes against humanity tribunals, public trials and other publicly-staged justice arenas increasingly rely on moving image representations, they become simultaneously platforms for images production. This talk explores, through the lens of documentary film practice, the possibilities that these archives—produced for and by the law or juridical system—offer to the understanding of the relation between image and law. The presentation will point to the potential in court and testimonies for a revision, both in the sense of juridical (changing laws) and visual revision (re-vision). Eyal Sivan is a documentary filmmaker, scholar and author. He’s Associate Professor (Reader) in Media production and co-leads the MA program in Film Video and New Media at the School of Arts and Digital Industry at the University of East London. Known for his controversial films, Sivan directed more than ten critically acclaimed and internationally-awarded political documentaries, and produced many others. Sivan publishes and lectures on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, documentary filmmaking and ethics, political crimes and representation, political use of memory, genocide and representation, etc. Among his films: Izkor Slaves of memory (1991) The Specialist (1999), Fragments of a journey in Palestine-Israel (2003), and the orange's clockwork (20s09).
Monika Szewczyk is a writer, editor and curator based in Berlin and in Rotterdam, where she has been head of publications at Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, and a tutor at the Piet Zwart Institute since 2008. In 2011, she will begin teaching at the Bergen National Academy of the Arts. She has contributed essays to numerous publications, anthologies as well as journals such as Afterall (print and online), A Prior, Camera Austria, Canadian Art, C Magazine, Mousse and e-flux journal (online), which has published installments of her ongoing project, Art of Conversation, essays about (interruptions of) discourse within and about cultural production. Eyal Weizman will discuss "forensic fetishism.” The shift of emphasis from human testimony towards objects of material evidence and forensics in the investigations of war crimes is indicative of larger cultural and political transformations. This talk will go over forensic controversies from the exhumation and identification of the remains of Josef Mengele in 1985 Brazil, through the mass exhumation of graves from Argentina, through Guatemala to Yugoslavia, to the contemporary scientific treatment of the remnant of war, especially forensic architecture and the interpretation of ruins. As these and other objects are interrogated, cross examined, contested and expected to speak, science, law and fetish seem closer than they have ever been.
Eyal Weizman is an architect and director of the Centre for Research Architecture at Goldsmiths, University of London. He studied architecture at the Architectural Association in London and completed his PhD at the London Consortium/Birkbeck College. Since 2007, he has been a member of the architectural collective "decolonizing architecture" in Beit Sahour/Palestine (www.decolonizing.ps), and since 2008 a member of B'Tselem Board of Directors (www.btselem.org ). Weizman has taught, lectured, curated and organised conferences in many institutions worldwide. His books include The Lesser Evil (2009), Hollow Land (2007), A Civilian Occupation (2003), the series Territories 1, 2 and 3, and Yellow Rhythms. Weizman is a regular contributor and an editorial board member for several journals and magazines including Humanity, Cabinet and Inflexions. He is the recipient of the James Stirling Memorial Lecture Prize (2006-2007) and was chosen to deliver the Edward Said Memorial Lecture at Warwick, 2010.