Julia Weist is the only licensed private investigator in New York whose work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. The New York Department of State recently determined that her visual art practice is investigative enough that it is legally equivalent to the skills used by fire marshals and corporate fraud analysts. In this interactive lecture, Weist and her collaborator Shannon Mattern will explore the limits of creative research and the evidentiary potential of art.

Julia Weist is a visual artist who explores how the process of record keeping reveals crucial social truths around shared systems of knowledge and power. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Guggenheim Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Jewish Museum, and other collections. In 2022, Weist had a solo exhibition at Rachel Uffner Gallery and debuted her latest public artwork, Campaign, in Times Square.

Shannon Mattern is the Penn Presidential Professor of Media Studies and Art History at the University of Pennsylvania. Her writing and teaching focus on media architectures and infrastructures. She has written books about libraries, maps, and urban intelligence, and she contributes a column about urban data and mediated spaces to Places Journal.

Additional Credits
Alexander Provan as the witness

Alexander Provan is the editor of Triple Canopy. His writing has appeared in the Nation, n+1, Bookforum, Art in America, Artforum, Frieze, and in several exhibition catalogues. His work has been presented at the Istanbul Biennial, Museum Tinguely (Basel), Bienal de Cuenca (Ecuador), New Museum (New York), Kunsthall Oslo, and Hessel Museum of Art (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York), among other venues. He lives in New York City.