Wry and provocative, the work of multidisciplinary artist Zach Blas (Post-Bac 2006) examines technologies of social control through the lens of queer and feminist politics. In recent years, his projects have addressed biometric capture, microdosing, the hegemony of the Internet, and sex toys. Blas presents a suite of these projects, including the Chicago premiere of Contra-Internet: Jubilee 2033 (2018). Using Derek Jarman’s queer punk classic Jubilee (1978) as inspiration, Blas’ film is a CGI fever dream in which Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan, and members of Rand's Collective are transported from 1955 to a dystopian future Silicon Valley. Guided by a holographic virtual assistant, the group is confronted by Nootropix, a prophetic figure (played by the artist Cassils) who envisions new modes of connection through the end of the Internet.
2011–19, United Kingdom/United States/Germany/Denmark/Mexico, multiple formats, ca 60 minutes followed by discussion
Zach Blas in person
Presented in partnership with SAIC’s Video Data Bank
Zach Blas is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans technical investigation, theoretical research, conceptualism, performance, and science fiction. He is a lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Blas has exhibited, lectured, and held screenings internationally, recently at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; 2018 Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; 68th Berlin International Film Festival; Matadero Madrid; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Art in General, New York; Gasworks, London; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, Netherlands; Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; e-flux; Whitechapel Gallery, London; ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany; and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City. His practice has been supported by a Creative Capital award in Emerging Fields, the Arts Council England, and Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst. Blas is a 2018–20 UK Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow and a 2019 Mercator Fellow in Configurations of Film at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, Germany.