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 prophet named Nootropix.

Awardee: Zach Blas

Emerging Fields, 2016

Zach Blas is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans technical investigation, theoretical research, queer and feminist politics, conceptualism, and science fiction. His work broadly confronts the political unconscious of science and technology. Currently, he is a Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Blas has exhibited, lectured, and held screenings internationally, recently at the 68th Berlin International Film Festival; Art in General, New York; Gasworks, London; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; e-flux, New York; 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, ArtReview, Mousse Magazine, The Guardian, and The New York Times.