Zach Blas, an American artist, writer and filmmaker, deals with topics such as politics, contemporary technologies, or queer theories. As part of his artistic work, he moves from theoretical research to conceptualism to science fiction.
Blas has been working on Internet and Information Technology for a long time and on how these resources are used to track or manage individuals and companies. Even in his early works, such as Video Mummy (2004) or Photocopies (2004), you can see a focus on the media, its capture and abstraction of the human body. These topics are addressed in his newer works, such as Face Cages (2013-2016) or Facial Weaponization Suite (2011-2014).
In 2017, Blas had an extensive exhibition of Contra-Inernet at London’s Gasworks Gallery. He criticized the hegemony of the Internet, its ubiquity, and that it has become the main tool of rapid capital of recent years. Part of the exhibition was Jubilee 2033, which refers to the scene of a queer-punk film Jubilee by Derek Jarman (1978). The plot line follows the philosopher Ayn Rand and her collective on an LCD trip, where they travel to a dystopian future. In the collapsing Silicon Valley they are witnesses of the ubiquitous Internet, the uprising and the climax of the Silicon Valley. In 2018, this film was nominated for the Teddy Award for Best Short Film at the Berlin International Film Festival. The theme against the Internet, ie the possibility of finding a better configured network that does not have complete elements, is also dealt with in the same article, which was published in e-flux number 74.
Queer’s Theory of Blas was primarily concerned with the large-scale Queer Technologies project (2007-2015), which was conceived as an organization for producing critical programs and technological tools. Like most of Blas’s works, this project offered a rather skeptical look at contemporary technology; specifically, it focused on the criticism of its heteronormative, capitalist and military origins. Queer Technologies products were routinely introduced through Disingenous Bar – the dystopian paraphrase of the Apple Genius Bar.
From 2015, Blas teaches at Goldsmiths in London. His courses focus on feminist techniques, aesthetics and face politics, surveillance art and (post) internet. Across his academic and artistic activities, he meets his executive lectures, such as Metric Mysticism (2017-2018), in which he continued to develop topics predetermined in the Contra-Internet project.
graphic design: Zdeněk Růžička
This video was shot as a collaboration with PAF festival