Matters of Evidence
Scientists at an excavation site
A conference on how to unearth and manifest material traces
Fri, June 14, 2024 – Sat, June 15, 2024, Conference
ZKM | Center for Art and Media, Online
Language: English

Registration at: matters-of-evidence@zkm.de

»Matters of Evidence« brings together transdisciplinary perspectives on ways of unearthing and manifesting material traces. Specifically, the conference will focus on the notion of “evidence” and procedures of substantiating truth used in a variety of disciplines and settings—such as archival, artistic and architectural research, forensics, historical and Holocaust studies, climate science, and the documentation and prosecution of violations of human rights.

Questions of evidence are particularly important in the age of post-truth—“evidence” has become a highly contested territory. It can easily be mixed up with random facts and instrumentalized to support false claims, conspiracy theories and the outright denial of truth. In contrast to post-facts, evidence should—in theory—stand up to being questioned, challenged, analyzed and undermined. Identifying something as “evidence” is related to a set of disciplinary procedures employed in order to prove something to be true, and typically this is done with the intention of creating a performative effect—recreating the chain of events, identifying causality and establishing responsibility that may lead to drawing consequences, informing public debate, raising awareness, challenging denial, or impacting public policies. Various disciplines and institutions have their own regimes of identifying evidence and purposes of doing so. Still, they can be allied in their pursuits of illuminating the past, informing the presence and shaping the future.

»Matters of Evidence« builds on the work of artist and architect Natalia Romik, presently on show with the exhibition »Hideouts. The Architecture of Survival« at the Jewish Museum Frankfurt from March 1 to September 1, 2024. »Matters of Evidence« will be convened gradually: It kicks off with the conference at ZKM | Karlsruhe on June 14/15, 2024, inviting a group of artists, architects, scholars, activists, and historians to present their selected pieces of evidence and engage in public discussion. This performative event will inform the development of an exhibition—the pieces of evidence debated during the conference will be contextualized and displayed in a comprehensive installation as part of the open-ended exhibition project »Fellow Travellers« at ZKM | Karlsruhe from September 20, 2024. Matters of Evidence was conceived by curator and researcher Kuba Szreder (Academy of Fine Arts, Warsaw) and artist and architect Natalia Romik (Warsaw) in collaboration with ZKM | Karlsruhe.

The keynotes on Friday will be broadcast online: zkm.de/livestream

Program

Program notes

Read more about the speakers and their contributions

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Speakers

Dan Hicks (Contemporary Archeology, University of Oxford and Pitt Rivers Museum, UK), Efthymia Nikita (Bioarcheology, The Cyprus Institute, Cyprus), Svitlana Matviyenko (Critical Media Analysis, Simon Fraser University, Canada), Klaus Mayer (Nuclear Forensics, European Commission Joint Research Center, Germany), Bart Elmore (Environmental History, Ohio State University, USA), Aleksandra Janus (anthropologist and activist, Zapomniane Foundation, Poland), Natalia Judzińska (Cultural Studies scholar and activist, Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland), Eray Çaylı (Human Geography, University of Hamburg, Germany), Nabil Ahmed (Spatial Practice, Visual Culture & Environmental Humanities, Trondheim Academy of Fine Art, Norway), Agata Szydłowska & Małgorzata Gurowska (artists, curators and activists, ZOEpolis, Poland), Natalia Romik (artist and architect, Warsaw, Poland), Kuba Szreder (curator, Academy of Fine Arts Warsaw, Poland).

Project team

Curatorial concept: Kuba Szreder (Curator, Academy of Fine Arts Warsaw, Poland)
Artistic framework and design: Natalia Romik (Artist & Architect, Warsaw)
Steering committee of »Matters of Evidence«: Alistair Hudson, Daniel Pies, Gloria Aino Grzywatz, Natalia Romik, Kuba Szreder

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