Investigative Commons


June 9–August 8, 2021, Conference Oct 9, 2021

Video: Sam Blair, Music: Gunnar Óskarsson

Forensic Architecture | Investigative Commons, Exhibition view | © Miguel Brusch/HKW

Forensic Architecture | Investigative Commons, Exhibition view | © Miguel Brusch/HKW

Image Projection | Projecting images across digital space within a 3D model allows the researchers to determine real-world distances between objects. | © Forensic Architecture, 2021

Image Projection | Projecting images across digital space within a 3D model allows the researchers to determine real-world distances between objects. | © Forensic Architecture, 2021

Satellite imagery | Expansion of palm oil plantations into the territories of the Indigenous Dayak communities. | © Forensic Architecture, 2021

Satellite imagery | Expansion of palm oil plantations into the territories of the Indigenous Dayak communities. | © Forensic Architecture, 2021

Spectogram analysis of audible shots | © Forensic Architecture, 2021

Spectogram analysis of audible shots | © Forensic Architecture, 2021

Harness | 3D model to reconstruct a metal harness used to transport a canister similar to those previously linked to chlorine gas attacks across Syria. | © Forensic Architecture, 2021

Harness | 3D model to reconstruct a metal harness used to transport a canister similar to those previously linked to chlorine gas attacks across Syria. | © Forensic Architecture, 2021

Trajectory model | A model to answer the question: could Abu al-Qi'an's car have rolled toward Israeli policemen of its own accord? | © Forensic Architecture, 2021

Trajectory model | A model to answer the question: could Abu al-Qi'an's car have rolled toward Israeli policemen of its own accord? | © Forensic Architecture, 2021

Model of the internet café in which Halit Yozgat was murdered by the NSU | Forensic Architecture's reconstruction at HKW 2017 | Photo: Vanina Vignal

Model of the internet café in which Halit Yozgat was murdered by the NSU | Forensic Architecture's reconstruction at HKW 2017 | Photo: Vanina Vignal

The defining characteristic of our era is a sustained attack by “counter-factual” neo-fascist groups against state institutions and judiciaries. A common response has been to cling to those traditional pillars of power-knowledge. But how should civil society react when those institutions themselves are responsible for crimes, state-terror and cover-ups; when the necessary struggle has two fronts: both for independent verification and against institutional knowledge?

The Investigative Commons seeks to address this crisis by socializing the development and deployment of “counter-forensic” evidence. Initiated by Forensic Architecture, FORENSIS and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), this community of practice works to expose state and corporate violence. Its investigations combine the situated knowledge of communities at the forefront of political struggle with the toolkits of investigative reporters, whistleblowers, activists, lawyers, scientists, artists, architects and other cultural practitioners. All are working towards decisive casework that confronts urgent issues: racist policing and border regimes, cyber-surveillance, environmental destruction and dispossession, and the persistence of colonial violence. HKW will follow the Investigative Commons over the course of two years with exhibitions , conferences and reflections on the ways in which new technologies and aesthetic sensibilities might define and transform how we investigate the world.

Conference: Oct 9, 2021

Exhibition: June 9–August 8, 2021
Main lobby

Digital ressources



Digital Violence

Mit Forensic Architecture, ECCHR, Laura Poitras, Edward Snowden u.v.a.
Recording of the event 3 July 2021 | To the program