Account 1.1 / Account 2.1 will explore images of the technologized forensic search in contemporary culture, and ideas of accountability in relation to confidence, confidentiality and work. Using an endoscope with a two-metre-long, fibre-optic lens, I will search twice, in detail, the premises of an office workplace – once while it is occupied and once while it is unoccupied. I will edit the resulting video material together, knitting it into other images of tracing and searching.
I am fascinated by the overwhelming primacy of the technology driven search for physical evidence in contemporary television dramas – this is primarily what goes on as dramatic plot – movement into and through, towards an impossibly microscopic and scientific explication that eschews any critique of the rapid obsolescence of technologies that purport not only to show us things, but to show us what they “mean.” Science equals moral certainty.
These narratives raise the mystical authority of forensic technologies, while describing problems with the order of our thinking on them. Characters in such narratives tend to be agents of competence with technology whose expertise does not conflict with their tendencies towards troubled uncertainty and their simultaneously slippery notions about what constitutes justice and truth.
I am looking for all kinds of shifts between private and social and institutional meanings for searching and finding.
What if the metonymic value of finding is not understood at all? What if it has become abstract, so that there are many values, rife with contradictions? Accountability, for instance, as a goal for, seems pretty elastic in relation to outcome. Is it hypocrisy or blindness that produces a lack of accountability on a grand scale?
Installation photos: Toni Hafkenscheid