Zach Blas is an artist and theorist working at the intersections of networked media, queerness, and the political. His work engages emerging media technologies with a multitude of aesthetic and resistant tactics to challenge neoliberal control structures and generate new potentials for queer politics, affect, and collectivity. He is a PhD student in The Graduate Program in Literature, Information Science + Information Studies, Visual Studies, Women’s Studies, as well as a lab member of s-1: Speculative Sensation Lab, led by Mark B. N. Hansen, at Duke University. He is also a founding members of The Public School Durham, and a contributing editor for the online journal Version. His on-going project, Queer Technologies, is an organization that produces critical applications, tools, and situations for queer technological agency, interventions, and social formation. By re-imaging a technology designed for queer use, Queer Technologies critiques the heteronormative, capitalist, militarized underpinnings of technological architectures, design, and functionality. Queer Technologies includes, transCoder, a queer programming anti-language; ENgenderingGenderChangers, a “solution” to Gender Adapters’ male/female binary; and Gay Bombs, a technical manual manifesto that outlines a “how to” of queer networked activism. QT items are often displayed and deployed at the Disingenuous Bar, an attack on Appleʼs Genius Bar that offers a heterotopic space for political support for “technical” problems. Zach’s on-going practice-based research spans five areas: 1) unhuman modes of resistance that address the human and nonhuman together, 2) a set of political works on abandonment, escape, nonexistence, desertion, and imperceptibility that re-conceptualize resistance, 3) affect, specifically engaging with political love, and affect as weapon and incalculable, 4) the virus and viral as a form of aesthetics, politics, and philosophy, and 5) networked hacktivist practices of hypertrophy, invagination, electronic civil disobedience, and disturbance. Drawing from these areas, Zach is configuring a conception of THE WEAPON as a practiced-based research methodology, pulling from weaponry’s long history of reconceptualization on the Left and various forms of aesthetic resistance. This involves configuring queerness as a militant weapon. Zach holds a Master of Fine Art, Design | Media Arts, University of California Los Angeles; a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate, Art and Technologies Studies, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago; and a Bachelor of Science, Film and Philosophy, Boston University. Zach also conducted a year of PhD research at the University of California Berkeley in the Film & Media track of the Rhetoric Department with a joint appointment in the Center for New Media. [+]
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