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 registered at these junctures of ontological intensity. Moreover, in disclosing these encoded events, the material witness makes ‘evident’ the very conditions and practices that convert such eventful materials into matters of evidence.
SUSAN SCHUPPLI is a Canadian artist, researcher and audio-investigator currently associated with the London-based research agency Forensic Architecture. Over the last twenty years, Schuppli has returned again and again to the theme of eavesdropping, with a particular concern for the material history and politics of audio-tape and the telephone.