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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.