IMPAKT TV with Zach Blas
The politics of Silicon Valley, AI and data
Location: Online: Planet IMPAKT
For our upcoming IMPAKT TV episode, we dive into the world of Silicon Valley, AI, bodies and data. Join us on 2 June for a new episode of IMPAKT TV: a series of monthly online shows in which we highlight the work of one special guest and reflect with them on the latest news and trends in art, technology and media. This episode, we talk with Zach Blas: an artist, filmmaker and writer whose practice spans moving image, computation, queer theory, performance, and science fiction.
We can no longer imagine a world without advanced technology. It has been smoothly incorporated into our lives, at a pace that moves faster than we do. The newest AI developments seem to make our lives easier, but we need to bear in mind: technology is never neutral. Zach Blas critically explores these developments and pays attention to the imaginaries and philosophies that surround AI and big tech. His work is a continuous interrogation of the politics of AI.
How can we make sense of new forms of artificial intelligence? How do these systems reflect and reproduce structures of in- and exclusion? What are the challenges of biometric surveillance and predictive policing? What are the implications of reducing human bodies to data? These questions take on a central position in Zach Blas’ work, which often leaves the audience with an uncanny feeling. By using various media such as video, computation and performance, Blas holds a critical stance towards the recent developments in Silicon Valley.
Last year, his work The Doors (2019) was featured in the IMPAKT Web project Weird Gnosis: an online exhibition bringing together works of video and performance art to take you on a journey into some of the weirder parts of the web. Here, Zach Blas looks closely at Silicon Valley’s connections to the Californian counterculture of the 1960s, exploring psychedelia, drug use and artificial intelligence.
Tune in on 2 June, 20:00h at Planet IMPAKT.
About IMPAKT TV:
Every month we invite an artist, journalist, researcher or writer to discuss their work and the latest news and trends in art, tech and media, must-see exhibitions and events. IMPAKT TV is live-streamed every month at https://planet.impakt.nl
The IMPAKT TV editorial team consists of Arjon Dunnewind (General Director at IMPAKT), Michelle Franke (head of PR at IMPAKT), Friso Wiersum (European Cultural Foundation, Expodium) and Rosa Wevers (PhD candidate Gender Studies at Utrecht University).
Zach Blas― Speaker
Zach Blas (b. Point Pleasant, West Virginia, USA) is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans moving image, computation, theory, performance, and science fiction. Blas has exhibited, lectured, and held screenings at venues internationally, including the de Young Museum, Tate Modern, Walker Art Center, 2018 Gwangju Biennale, the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, Matadero Madrid, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Art in General, Gasworks, Van Abbemuseum, Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, e-flux, Whitechapel Gallery, ZKM Center for Art and Media, and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo. His practice has been supported by a Creative Capital award in Emerging Fields, the Arts Council England, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, and the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council. His work is in the collections of Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea, and Whitney Museum of American Art. Blas’s practice been written about and featured in Artforum, Frieze, ArtReview, BBC, The Guardian, and The New York Times. Blas’s writings can be found in the collections You Are Here: Art After the Internet, Documentary Across Disciplines, Queer: Documents of Contemporary Art, as well as e-flux journal and various exhibition catalogues. With Melody Jue and Jennifer Rhee, he is co-editor of the anthology Informatics of Domination, forthcoming from Duke University Press. His artist monograph Unknown Ideals is published by Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst and Sternberg Press. Blas is an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.