Zach Blas’s three-channel video installation presented in Refiguring the Future includes works from Blas’s series Contra-Internet, 2014–18. 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 futures and network alternatives. At the center of this installation is a scene from his short film Jubilee 2033, which re-imagines filmmaker Derek Jarman’s 1978 queer punk film Jubilee. Jubilee 2033 tells the story of a futuristic queer society rising from the ashes of a post-apocalyptic Silicon Valley. This excerpt features Blas’s character Nootropix (played by artist Cassils), a “contra-sexual, contra-internet prophet,” dancing to Andre Bocelli’s “Con te partirò.” Jubilee 2033 was commissioned by Gasworks, London; Art in General, New York; and MU, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
Zach Blas is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans technical investigation, theoretical research, conceptualism, performance, and science fiction. His practice engages with technology, queerness, and politics to question the underlying structures of contemporary technologies. He has exhibited, lectured, and held screenings internationally, including at the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea; the 68th Berlin International Film Festival; Art in General, New York; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, the Netherlands; and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City. Blas’s writing has been widely published including in You Are Here: Art After the Internet (Cornerhouse Books); Queer: Documents of Contemporary Art (The MIT Press and Whitechapel Gallery); and e-flux journal. He is a Lecturer in the Department of
Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, and a 2018–20 Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow.