Affective Architectures: Photographic Evidence and the Evolution of Courtroom Visuality

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This article examines the courtroom situation, focusing on courtroom spectatorship, architecture, and visuality in US trials. Visual evidence is situated within the architectural apparatus of the courtroom to examine how affect unfolds between a testifying witness and courtroom audience members. The movement of photographic evidence during judicial proceedings is linked to the disruption of temporal and spatial equilibrium. The idea is introduced that a feeling of vertigo is produced in the testifying witness and audience participants. Following Sianne Ngai’s conception of the ‘minor affects’, it is proposed that disconcertion and confusion are characteristics of witness testimony and thus important political affects to note in analyses of the relationship between vision and the discovery of justice in legal spectatorship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-222
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Visual Culture
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018


  • chiasmus
  • domestic violence
  • legal spectatorship
  • minor affects
  • photographic evidence
  • proprioception
  • vertigo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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