My research focuses on practices and cultures of evidence, seeking to make practical, theoretical and creative interventions to investigate the ways in which computation, data, information, new media, and technologies inform and shape our understandings of evidence.
My current research project focuses on emerging technologies of crime-scene reconstruction and courtroom presentation utilizing 3D laser scanners and software. This project has several intended outcomes and potential collaborators. I have two grant proposals underway that make up the heart of this long-term project: The first proposal investigates the intersection of coding, forensic science and representational technologies that make up 3D laser scanning, contextualizing this work within the history of objectivity and legal expert testimony. The second proposal seeks to utilize virtual reality and 3D modeling capabilities to creatively expand the possibilities of crime-scene reconstruction through spectacle. These reconstructions have been used in several high-profile cases to date including the attempt to indict Timothy Loehmann of the death of Tamir Rice and in the more recent prosecution of Jason Fries in the death of Laquan McDonald. Both trials illuminate the intertwining legal and representational importance of the point of view of the officer, while simultaneously claiming extra-human evidential status due to the technology’s reliance on data seeking to creatively explore the why/how these reconstructions are rhetorically deployed by creating reconstructions of police violence from the point of view of survivors, victims, witnesses and bystanders.
My book project, The Shape of Secrets, examines the technologies, policies, practices and representations that comprise the infrastructural assemblage supporting classified record-keeping within the United States Government. Rather than thinking of classification as what Peter Galison has claimed is “anti-epistemology,” this work begins with the assertion of classifications productive qualities. Classification structures differentiate communities, elicit new and complex technical challenges, inspire alternative knowledge and media communities, co-constitute profound extra-governmental economic relationships and represent persistent legal and policy challenges.
I am also developing a book series foregrounding the artifacts, texts and media that serve as evidence for conspiracy theories, the stuff around which communities coalesce and cohere, warrant for action or dissent.