A new book names Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures Eyal Weizman among 100 international academics, artists and activists to boldly cross disciplinary frontiers and create revolutionary ideas at the intersection.
100 Global Minds: The Most Daring Cross-disciplinary Thinkers in the World by Gianluigi Ricuperati, creative director of the Domus Academy in Milan, celebrates 100 of the ‘global minds’ who have been boldest in crossing disciplinary boundaries.
Ricuperati told leading university sector magazine the Times Higher Education that “the most exciting ideas come in the liminal and interstitial spaces between disciplines. The digital revolution forces us all to think in terms of numbers, pictures and words. That is why the world, including the academic world, has become less rigid”.
Since 2011 he has directed the European Research Council-funded project Forensic Architecture whose evidence was presented at the UN General Assembly and in a string of national high courts, as well as in a number of cultural institutions, including the V&A in London - which has also bought their work for its permanent collection - The HKW in Berlin and the Photographers Gallery.
The investigations provide evidence for international prosecution teams, political organisations, NGOs, and the United Nations and critically analyse the history and present status of forensic practices in articulating notions of public truth.
A commitment to collaboration
Weizman is, notes Ricuperati, committed to “genuinely collaborative scholarship”, bringing together a team of architects, artists, filmmakers, activists, and theorists to undertake research that gathers and presents spatial analysis in legal and political forums.
In partnership with Amnesty International, Professor Weizman and his group recently launched the Gaza Platform - an investigative online tool mapping Israeli attacks in Gaza during the conflict of July and August 2014 – as well as an interactive report.
With the digital age rapidly increasing the pace and means of information-gathering during a human rights crisis, such as the Gaza conflict, Weizman and his partners have utilised multimedia evidence to confirm what took place after the fact. The Platform offers an efficient new method of processing and cross-referencing different types of information.
"Weizman’s research, encompassing various disciplines, addresses some of the methodological problems in examining evidence of violence,” Mr Ricuperati says, and “uncover the topographical meanings embedded in frought landscape, which, in its very mutability, is evidential of the disruptive historical context”.
Eyal Weizman was born in Haifa in 1970. He is a Global Scholar at Princeton University and a founding member of the architectural collective Decolonizing Architecture (DAAR) in Beit Sahour in the West Bank. His recent books include Mengele's Skull: The Advent of Forensic Aesthetics with Thomas Keenan and The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence From Arendt to Gaza, and with Forensic Architecture, Forensis: The Architecture of Public Truth.
Mr Ricuperati asked a number of young people with a deep interest in arts and culture to suggest people for inclusion in his book. He added some of his own choices and also hired a mathematician to design an algorithm that was able to detect the number of times that a name is mentioned on the internet in an environment different from their own.
100 Global Minds: The Most Daring Cross-disciplinary Thinkers in the World is available to buy online.