Fake art, bad science and what we can learn from using systems thinking to examine the mechanics of law

Portia Light
16 October 2017

Stemming from the Enlightenment period, science has come to be viewed as the best way to establish truth from an objective standpoint. In its quest for the black and white outcomes of “guilty/not guilty”, it is perhaps not surprising that the legal system has become affected by the dominant reductionist narrative of positivism. Positivist politics have been enforced though both the technicalities of law and the details of legal procedures that have come to rely heavily on forensics.

Art on the other hand has, and always will be, a platform for communities who have been marginalised by scientific fact to disrupt the usual narrative, to point out its limitations.

When the two fields of art and science collide in the theatre of a courtroom it creates an intriguing situation from which to observe the mechanics of the legal system. With stories from the time she has spent observing such phenomena, Portia will show how considering what could be ‘true’ in what many people have come to define as ‘not true’ is key to creating both less-politicised and less-positive systems that allow for more variety of outcomes. Portia is a strategy consultant who studied Law and Anthropology to masters level at the London School of Economics.