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Awardee: Zach Blas

Emerging Fields, 2016

Zach Blas is an artist and writer whose practice confronts technologies of capture, security, and control. Currently, he is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Blas has exhibited and lectured internationally, recently at Gasworks, London; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; e-flux, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City. Blas’s writings can be found in Documentary Across Disciplines (The MIT Press and Haus der Kulturen der Welt); Queer: Documents of Contemporary Art (The MIT Press and Whitechapel Gallery); and e-flux journal. His work has been written about and featured in Artforum, Frieze, Art Review, Mousse Magazine, The Atlantic, and Al Jazeera America.

http://www.zachblas.info

Project: Contra-Internet

Consisting of a queer science fiction film installation that includes live action and CGI, blown glass sculptures, and a single edition publication, Contra-Internet confronts the transformation of the internet into an instrument for state oppression and accelerated capitalism. Invoking a practice of utopian plagiarism, Contra-Internet appropriates queer and feminist methods to speculate on internet and network alternatives. Jubilee 2033, the short film centerpiece, is a re-imagining of scenes from filmmaker Derek Jarman’s 1978 queer punk film Jubilee, starring Susanne Sachsse as Ayn Rand and Cassils as a contra-sexual, contra-internet AI prophet named Nootropix.