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Department of Visual Cultures

Dr Susan Schuppli

Position held:
Acting Director, Centre for Research Architecture

+44 (0)20 7078 5387

s.schuppli (@gold.ac.uk)


RHB 314

I studied visual art and media and began my art practice producing multi-sited public projects and urban interventions. I also worked actively as a curator and cultural producer within the context of artist-run centres in Canada and the US. Overtime writing has come to play an equally significant role in the ways in which my research and ideas are expressed. My current scholarly and creative practice is focused on the evidential dimensions of media materials that emerge out of sites of political violence from the Balkans wars of the 1990s to the final days of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 2009.

I am currently Senior Research Fellow in, and Project Cooridinator of, ERC funded project: Forensic Architecture,  Centre for Research Architecture (2011-14). In September 2013 I will assume the position of Acting Director of the Centre of Research Architecture for a period of two years.

Academic qualifications

PhD Cultural Studies & Research Architecture (Goldsmiths, University of London) 2009

Whitney Independent Study Program 1996

MFA Visual Art (University of California San Diego) 1995

BA Fine & Performing Arts (Simon Fraser University) 1991


Confltcs & Negotiations, CRA 2013-14

Studio Seminar (co-teach), CRA 2013-14

Areas of supervision

I welcome research proposals that sitaute themselves at the intersections between space, politics, aesethetics, and media. I surpervise dissertations that are rigorously theoretical yet pursue their research inquires through practical enagements with materials, sites and processes. Whether these are creative projects or emerge out of ethnographic fiedlwork they are understood to be the means by which research is pursued and ideas tested.

Of particular interest are projects that examine architetures of media in recognition of the increasing significance that media plays in our access to and analysis of spaces of political conflict. From the micro-scale of buildings and infrastructure to the macro-scale of borders and global flows, space is understood as an elastic medium constantly reshaped by political and mediatic forces. 

I have recently or am currently supervising PhD dissertations on the Architecture of Balkanisation, War Hotels, Extraterritoriality & State Protected Images, and Video Philiosophy.

Presentations and exhibitions

See You in The Hague, commissioned by Stroom Den Haag, NL (2015)

Forensic Architecture (Group exhibition), HKW Berlin,Le Bal,Paris (2014)

Transmediale, Evil Media contribution, Berlin (2013)

Discussion, CASCO, Utrecht, (Dec 12 2012)

Whitechapel Art gallery discussion of Shevchenko film with the Wilson sisters (December 2 2012).

“Forensics Workshop with Jane and Louise Wilson,” Wide Open School, Hayward Gallery / Southbank (June 14 2012)

Culture Now: Eyal Weizman in Conversation with Susan Schuppli, ICA (May 11 2012)

“Furtive Media: The Deep Image of Matter”, Objects, Practices, Territories / Objectos, Práticas, Territórios, Guimarães, Portugal (May 5 2012)

“Forensic Documentary,” London College of Communication (Lecture April 25 2012)

Conflict & the Legacy of War, Museum London, London, ON (2011-2012)

Panel Discussion with Jane and Louise Wilson, John Hansard Gallery (Sept 3 2011)

"Tune In", Casino Luxembourg, (May 2014)

“Forensic Imagination.” Forensic Evidence. Bard College, NY (Feb 4 2011)

Krimiseries: Evidence, Narrative and the Forensic Imagination, Museum London, ON (2010)

Letter to Leopold, Brussels Biennale, Belgium (2008)

For Reasons of State, Whitney ISP, The Kitchen, New York, NY (2008)

Poetics of Erasure, Simon Fraser University Gallery, Vancouver, BC (2008)

Conflicted/Inflicted: Dictionary of War, Stadelschule Museum, Frankfurt (2006)

Pick Up! Art Gallery of Hamilton, ON (2003)

Probing into the Distance, Contemporary Art Forum, Kitchener, ON (2003)

Domicile: Work from the Permanent Collection, Kamloops Art Gallery, BC (2003)

Signal and Noise, Video In, Vancouver, BC (2002)

Phony, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB (2001)

Take Two, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON (2001)

Snapshot, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, MD (2001)

Frequent Flyers, Artspace, Sydney, Australia (2000)

Feedback, University Art Gallery, State University of New York at Stonybrook, NY (2000)

Civil Disturbances: REPOhistory & New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, NY (1998)

Slow Pressure, Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC (1997)

In Transit 2, The Swiss Institute, New York, NY (1996)

Never Walk Alone, The Photographer’s Gallery, London (1996)

Urban Fictions, Presentation House Gallery, Vancouver, BC (1996)

Boomtown: Random Acts of Public Art, San Diego, CA (1995)

Benchmarks, The Association for Non-Commercial Culture, Vancouver, BC (1994)

Perambulations, Washington State Art in Public Places Program, Seattle, WA (1994)

Grants & awards

2009 Social Studies & Humanities Research Council Travel Grant, (also 2008, 2007, 2005)

2008 Canada Council Travel Grant in Visual Arts (also 2000, 1997, 1994)

2006/09 Overseas Research Scholarship Award Scheme

2004 Ontario Arts Council Project Grant (also 2001)

2003 SSHRC Interdisciplinary Team Grant (Principal A. Purdy)

2003 Canada Council B Grant in Visual Arts (also 2000, 1998, 1995)

1997 Project Grant, Pro Helvetia, Switzerland

1997 National Endowment for the Arts Award, USA

1997 Van Lier Foundation Grant, New York

Professional activities

Science in India Research Network,by  directed Dr. Jahnavi Phalkey (Kings College India Institute)

Site Magazine: Journal for Contemporary Art, Architecture, Cinema, and Philosophy, Stockholm, Sweden (editorial board)

Second Nature: The International Journal of Creative Media, R.M.I.T. Melbourne, Australia (editorial board)

Television and video output


Material Witness (experimental documentary), 90 min., in progress (2014)

Stretch, The Kitchen, NYC, video re-enactment (2008)

Time Lag, 12 min., video, “Crossing Time Zones”, Goldsmiths), UK (2007)

Plot, 45 min., video, Contemporary Art Forum, Kitchener, ON (2003)

Pick Up! Audio CD, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Hamilton, ON

Phony, Interactive CD ROM, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB (2001)

Martha, 12 min. video, Take Two, Ottawa Art Gallery, Ottawa, ON (2000)

Frequent Fliers, Interactive CD ROM, Artspace, Sydney, Australia

“Singing the Body Electric”, Symposium, SUNY Stonybrook, NY. Tape produced at Saw Video, Ottawa, ON

Papers presented


Goldsmiths in Conversation with Judith Butler (May 23 2013)

Lecture on "The Most Dangeroud Film in the World". Nuclear Institute, Manchester (May 13 2013)

Images of Terror Narratives of (In)Security, University of Lisbon (April 23-24 2013)

Circulation & Withdrawal Lecture Series, Goldsmiths MFA  (March 11 2013)

De toute évidence: image, preuve, attestation, Université du Quebec à Montréal, Canada (January 11, 2013)


“Walk-back Technology,” Beyond Representation: Photography, Humans, and Computers, Centre for Media & Culture Research, London South Bank University in association with the journal Philosophy of Photography, London (May 24 2012). Also presented at Helsinki Photomedia: Images in Circulation, Aalto University, School of Art & Design, Helsinki (March 29 2012)

“Furtive Media: The Deep Image of Matter”, Objects, Practices, Territories / Objectos, Práticas, Territórios, Guimarães, Portugal (May 5 2012)

“Forensic Documentary,” London College of Communication (Lecture April 25 2012)

“Earth Objects: Topological Experiments in the Folds of Concurrent Jurisdictions,” Künstlerhaus Büchenhausen, Innsbruck (Performance Lecture with Nabil Ahmed) March 19 2012)

“Improvised Explosive Designs: The Film-set as Military Set-up”, Theoriesalon ♯10, Organised by Expanded Design, Vienna (March 9 2012)

“Some Sinister Force,” Right to Silence II, Showroom, London (Feb 25 2012)

“War Dialling: Image transmissions from Saigon” Considering Vietnam, Organised by the War and Conflict Research Group, UAL Photography and the Archive Research Centre, in partnership with IWM and with the support of the London College of Communication (Feb 17 2012)

“Earth-objects and the Politics of Ecology,” Salon: Centre for Research Architecture, Barbican, London (Presentation Jan 21 2012)


“Constructed Evidence,” Forensic Aesthetics: Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School, NY (Nov 5 2011)

Panel Discussion with Jane and Louise Wilson, John Hansard Gallery (Sept 3 2011)

“Machine Memory.” Contested Spaces: Witness, Memory, Affect, Programme in Cultural Studies, Literature and the Arts 
CréArt Doctoral Program, Université de Paris X
, Research Architecture, Goldsmiths, Copenhagen (March 17 2011)

“Walk-back Technology: Dusting for Fingerprints and Tracking Digital Footprints.” Photo-Lexic: The Forensic Dimensions of Photography, Conference hosted by the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths in collaboration with the Photo-Lexic, International Research Group, Minerva Humanities Center, Tel Aviv University (March 11 2011)

“Forensic Imagination.” Forensic Evidence. Bard College, NY (Feb 4 2011)


“Tricked-out Space in Michael Haneke’s Caché.” Neo-Baroque, University of Liverpool (May 13 2010)

“Atomic Fever and the Archive.” Distinguished Speaker, Fine Arts UBC, Vancouver (April 13 2010)


“Entanglement as Medial Practice.” ATACD, University of Barcelona, Spain (2009)

“Soviet Defectors.” UAAC, Edmonton, Canada


“Deformed Media Space.” Ubiquitous Media, University of Tokyo, Japan (2007)

“Load Space.” Spatial Dramaturgies, University of Frankfurt, Germany

Theorising Affect, Social/Spatial Theory Research Ctr., Durham University


“Archiving Silence.” Siting the Document, “Archival Aphasia”, Queen Mary University (2006)

“Reinventing Machinic Life." Evolutions, University of Edinburgh

“From Here to Eternity.” Cultural Fictions II, Goldsmiths, University of London

“Heterotopia and the City.” First Worlds, Third Spaces, International American Studies Association, Ottawa, ON


“Re-Wiring the City: Technology in Public Places.” CAFKA, ON (2003)

“Expo 67.” History of the Future, IAMHIST Conference, University of Leicester


Endnote Speaker: Matrilineage Conference, Syracuse University, New York (2002)                

“The Art of Public Nuisance.” Geographies of Governance, Wilfrid Laurier University, Kitchener, ON

Research interests

Forensic Architecture: The Space of Law in War

Forensic Architecture refers to the presentation of spatial analysis within contemporary legal and polit­ical forums. The project undertakes research that maps, images, and mod­els sites of viol­ence within the framework of international humanitarian law and human rights. Through its public activities it also situates forensic architecture within broader historical and theoretical contexts.


MATERIAL WITNESS: Forensic Media and the Production of Evidence (monograph in-progress)

This research introduces a new operative concept — the material witness — an entity (object or unit) whose physical properties or technical configuration records evidence of passing events to which it can bear witness. Whether these events register as a by-product of an unintentional encounter or as an expression of direct action, history and by extension politics is encoded at these junctures of ontological intensity. When materials, including computational objects, are subject to external processes that bring about their structural reordering, they produce what philosopher of science Isabelle Stengers has called an “informed material” in the sense that their internal composition becomes progressively enriched by information. Conceptualising all recoded material as informationally enriched troubles a certain distinction between the analogue and digital whereby information is generally regarded as belonging to the purview of immaterial data, whereas properties are what define physical matter. Treating both analogue and digital entities as informed matter fosters greater connectivity between disparate events, forging new categories of assembly across disciplines that have their material stakes in different kinds of questions. Moreover, under specific circumstances and through the intercession of a forensic methodology that enables this informed condition to ‘materialise’, such entities can provide insights into the historical processes out of which they emerged conferring a contingent politics onto matter.

Selected publications

"Nuclear Vision." Camera Atomica. Ed. O'Brian, John: Yale University Press, (book chapter) 2013.

“War Dialling: Image Transmissions from Saigon.” Mythologizing the Vietnam War: Visual Culture and Mediated Memory. Eds. Good, Jennifer, et al. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. 2013

"Forensic Media." Realism Materialism Art. Eds. Cox, Christoph, Jennifer Jaskey and Suhail Malik. Berlin: Sternberg Press, 2013

“Atmosfärisk Korrigering.” Glänta, 4.12 Gothenburg, Sweden, 2013.

"Atmospheric Correction and the Politics of Remote Image Processing." Photography Beyond Representation; a Critical Reader. Eds. Rubinstein, Daniel and Andrew Fisher. London: 2013.

"The Most Dangerous Film in the World (reprint)." Materialities. Ed. Gutfranski, Krzysztof. Gdańsk: Wyspa Progress Foundation / Wyspa Institute of Art from Gdańsk, 2013.

"Walk-Back Technology: Dusting for Fingerprints and Tracking Digital Footprints." Photographies Helsinki Photomedia, Routledge 6.1 (2013).

"Probative Pictures: Image Proofs in Errol Morris’s Standard Operating Procedure." CV Ciel Variable Ed. Vincent Lavoie. 91 Contemporary Art and Forensic Imagination, Montreal: 2013.

“Half Truths”, Mute, http://www.metamute.org/community/reviews/half-truths, January 10 2013.

“Public Service Announcements: Art for the Coming Community.” Service Media. Ed. Keeler, Stuart. Chicago: Green Lantern Press, 2013.

"A Memorial in Exile in London’s Olympics: Orbits of Responsibility." Open Democracy  (2012). http://www.opendemocracy.net/susan-schuppli/memorial-in-exile-in-london’s-olympics-orbits-of-responsibility

"Impure Matter: A Forensics of WTC Dust." Savage Objects. Ed. Pereira, Godofredo. Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda (INCM), 2012. 

“Material Malfeasance: Trace Evidence of Violence in Three Image-Acts.” Photoworks, Bristol, UK, 2011. Issue 17.

"The Most Dangerous Film in the World." Tickle Your Catastrophe. Ed. Frederik Le Roy, Nele Wynants, Dominiek Hoens, Robrecht Vanderbeeken. Ghent: NGE (Dutch Aesthetics Society), Ghent University, the KASK (Ghent Royal Academy of Fine Arts) and Vooruit, 2010. 130-45.

Weizman, Eyal, et al. "Forensic Architecture." Post-Traumatic Urbanism: Architectural Design. Ed. Charles Rice, Adrian Lahoud, Anthony Burke. Vol. 80: Wiley, 2010. 58-63.

"Improvised Explosive Designs: The Film-Set as Mlitary Set-Up." Borderlands Special issue on Ambivalent Architectures: Violence, Visualization, Memorialization 9 2 (2010): 1-18.

"Reading Radiological Film." Site: A Journal for Contemporary Art, Architecture, Cinema, and Philosophy Guest edited by Karl Lydén: Documentary narratives & non-fictional narrativity in film and art 28 (2009).

"Picturing New Worlds: Propositional Aesthetics & Political Imaginaries." Art & Democracy. Ed. Riordan, John. New York: Projects-Projects, 2008.

"Of Moths and Machines." Cosmos & History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 4: What is Life? 1-2 (2008): 286-306.

"Curse of the Mummy: Oral Affliction or Archival Aphasia." Memory Studies 2 2 (2008): 167-86.

Fallet Med De Förlorade 18 ½ Minuterna /the Case [Study] of the Missing 18-1/2 Minutes." Site: A Journal for Contemporary Art, Architecture, Cinema, and Philosophy 18-19 28 (2007).

Guest Editor. "Special Issue on Expo 67." BlackFlash 2 22 (Winter 2004/05).

"Book Review of Picturing Place: Photography and the Geographical Imagination." The Canadian Geographer 48: 4 (2004): 505-06.

Content last modified: 18 Mar 2014

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