Forensic Architecture founder Eyal Weizman has been blocked from entering the US borders after an algorithm identified him as a security threat.
“Weizman is an Israeli-born British architect who uses visual analysis to investigate war crimes and humanitarian crises,” according The Intercept.
Weizman is also a professor at Goldsmiths, University of London, where his human rights research agency Forensic Architecture is based.
Weizman, who was travelling to the US for the opening of his practice’s first major survey exhibition in the country titled True to Scale, had his visa revoked.
At the American embassy in London, Weizman was asked to provide 15 years of travel history to which “investigators could asses my case more promptly if I supplied the names of anyone in my network who I believed might have triggered the algorithm.”
Weizman declined to share information, “given the fact that his work investigating state-sponsored human rights violations ‘means being in contact with vulnerable communities, activists and experts, and being entrusted with sensitive information.”
“Ines Weizman, his wife, travelled to America earlier for her own speaking engagements, and was separated from their children whom she was travelling with to be interrogated for two hours at JFK airport before being granted entry,” according to ArtReview.
The opening exhibition, held at the Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College, was missed by Weizman, although he took the opportunity to pass on a speech his wife made at the opening.
“Today (19 February) I was meant to be here with you at the museum of Art and Design in Miami to open Forensic Architecture’s first major survey exhibition in the United States, True to Scale.”
Weizman goes onto explain that his revocation notice stated no reason and the situation gave him no opportunity to appeal or to arrange for an alternative visa that would allow him to be there.
He finishes his speech thanking his partner communities who “continue to resist violent state and corporate practices and who are increasingly exposed to the regime of security algorithms – a form of governance that aims to map, monitor and – all too often – police their movements and their struggles for safety and justice.”