Zach Blas is an artist and writer whose practice confronts technologies of capture, security, and control. Currently, he is a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London.
Blas’s recent works respond to biometric governmentality and network hegemony. Facial Weaponization Suite (2011-14) consists of “collective masks” that cannot be detected as human faces by biometric facial recognition software. Contra-Internet (2014-2018) explores subversions of and alternatives to the internet and is supported by a 2016 Creative Capital award in Emerging Fields and the Arts Council England.
Blas has exhibited and lectured internationally, recently at Gasworks, London; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; e-flux, New York; Whitechapel Gallery, London; 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. He is producing two books, an artist monograph, and Informatic Opacity: The Art of Defacement in Biometric Times, a theoretical study that considers biometric facial recognition as an emerging form of global governance alongside aesthetico-political refusals of recognition, such as masked protest.
His work has been written about and featured in Artforum, Frieze, Art Review, Art Monthly, Mousse Magazine, The Guardian, and The New York Times.