Through “Can the Sun Lie?” artist Susan Schuppli explores how objects and materials can serve as material and non-human witnesses.
“Can the sun lie?” asked a US court in 1886 when reflecting upon the probative value of new forms of technical evidence, specifically photographs and film. This now historic question was conceptually reanimated when indigenous people in the Canadian north made the public claim that the Arctic sun is setting many kilometres further west—an assertion since corroborated by scientists studying the changing optics of polar ice due to thermal inversions and global warming. The video sets out to explore the emergence of a new visual regime brought about by climate change as well as the dispute between experiential knowledge and scientific expertise that subsequently arose at COP15 with regards to this solar dispute.
In her work, the English artist and author Susan Schuppli explores how objects and materials can serve as witnesses. She explores the extent to which these non-human witnesses can make objective statements of historical events. In her current research and artistic work, Schuppli builds on these ideas. In doing so, she explores how transformations brought about by global warming can generate new forms of material evidence.
Click here to see an excerpt of the video “Can the Sun Lie?”
Susan Schuppli is Reader and Director of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths where she is also an affiliate artist-researcher and Board Chair of Forensic Architecture. She explores how materials and objects enter the public discourse as non-human witnesses to historical events such as political violence, ethnic conflict and war crimes. Currently, she is investigating how changes brought about by global warming are producing new kinds of evidence. Her focus is on ice core research and the politics of cold. She lives in the United Kingdom. susanschuppli.com