Working notes from the Scandinavian Institute for Computational Vandalism

Tag Archives: forensics

Dead lends a hand, murder lends glasses

Your browser does not support the video tag. In Dead Lends a Hand, the investigator Brimmer kills a woman he attempts to blackmail. The camera shows Brimmer’s face just after the murder and zooms in. After a few seconds, the image of the face becomes still as if Brimmer was paralyzed in shock. At the […]

a close listening to the technical workings of computers and their networks

In Algorhythmics: Understanding Micro-Temporality in Computational Cultures, Shintaro Miyazaki discusses the importance of rhythm to understand the performances of algorithms. “According to Burton [chief engineer of the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine-Resurrection-Project], the position of the so-called “noise probe” was variable, thus different sound sources could be heard and auscultated. These could be individual flip-flops in […]

The Variability of Vision

LATE IN 1967 a book was published in England which is as charming as it must be fascinating to all who are interested in the theory and practice of interpretation. Its principal author is the Dutch naturalist and ethologist Niko Tinbergen, who combined with a friend and artist to photograph the tracks left in the […]

Every contact leaves a trace.

Both questioned document examination and computer forensics belong to a branch of forensic science known as “trace evidence,” which owes its existence to the work of the French investigator Edmond Locard. Locard’s famous Exchange Principle may be glossed as follows: “a cross-transfer of evidence takes place whenever a criminal comes into contact with a victim, […]

Damnatio memoriae

Recarving Nero

Portrait heads of the emperor Octavius Augustus. “The Joslyn portrait displays clear indications that it was recut from another person’s likeness, limiting the sculptor by dissimilarities to Augustus’ features in the original subject. Recut portraits in general exhibit asymmetries, undercutting, and unnatural planar features where a chisel or other implement has been used to remove […]

How to develop a picture from a corpse’s eye

“The morning of November 16, 1880, Wilhelm Friedrich Kühne (1837–1900), a professor of physiology at the University of Heidelberg, dissected the head of an executed murderer in his dark room within minutes of the man’s death. Kühne worked around the contracting muscles in the left eye socket to remove the eye and develop an image […]

Agatha Christie smoking Asger Jorn’s cigar

Ellef Prestsæter: Readers of Concreta, beware! … Engaging with you, Asger, in the context of this special issue on Vandalism and Iconoclasm calls for a strict demarcation between vandalism on the one hand and iconoclasm on the other. While the Scandinavian Institute of Comparative Vandalism (SICV) connects you intimately with the concept of vandalism you […]

The index at work

Erasmus censored The censorship of books by the Catholic Church has been a complex process. The list of books to be banned is first compiled in an Index, the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. Then the books are physically altered. Various censored specimens have been kept and give us the chance to see the index at work.

Templates after the fact

The edits of the declassifiers do not merely hide some content to preserve secrecy or privacy. They also underline the repetitive nature of the requests and controls that are taking place in the administration. The words that are “redacted” become like variables in a template.