Forensic Storytelling

How can an image tell a story? This thesis defines “forensic storytelling” as a method of investigation involving the examination of objects through the application of writing or telling stories. Not unlike detectives solving a crime, forensic storytelling analyzes an environment and the contents within using methods of narrative-building.

Forensic analyses were conducted on a series of photographs. Where each assumption falls on the spectrum of accuracy is a function of prior knowledge, investigation, and personal bias. When prior knowledge does not exist for a photograph, investigation and personal bias take the lead. From these forensic analyses, a story forms about who occupies the space and how they do so. All the forensic evidence is gathered and sorted through, just like a crime scene. Each piece of evidence translates into the story that the photograph tells.

The final phase of this thesis explores how forensic storytelling can help reconstruct a dynamic whole from a single instance. By looking at a single image, how can we use methods of forensic storytelling to construct a world in which the image exists? Can multiple stories be told? How do multiple stories impact the three-dimensional whole? How can forensic storytelling be used to interpret and reinterpret a space?