A special screening of the new work by artist and filmmaker Zach Blas which will be presented with a lecture by curator Alexander Burenkov. He will talk about the main literature and philosophical premises of the film and will outline the range of problems the author raises in the oeuvre.
Derek Jarman’s cult film Jubilee released in 1978 is widely known as a critique of capitalism, however, the film’s director and producers conceived it as an opportunity to profit from the popularity of the punk scene. Exploring the ambivalence of Jarman’s work, the anti-capitalist sci-fi satire Jubilee 2033 (2017) by Zach Blas was the central part of Contra-Internet—Blas’s first solo exhibition project presented at Gasworks in London. In the twenty-nine-minute film, the key ideologists of capitalist individualism of the 1950s Ayn Rand and Alan Greenspan find themselves in the desolate Silicon Valley of the future, interact with artificial intelligence in the shape of an anime character, and discover the Internet. Recent works by Blas explore the issues of technological control, biometric governmentality, and network hegemony, and in this film he looks into the transformation of the Internet from a "neutral" platform of the 1980s and 1990s into an instrument of control and surveillance of late capitalism—a total infrastructure that does not allow for any alternative. Responding to this challenge with a film, a performative element, sculptures, installations, vinyl text on the walls, and a single-edition publication The End of the Internet (As We Knew It), Contra-Internet offered a queer and feminist approach to sci-fi and technology to reanimate the better World Wide Web of the past and suggest new modes of resistance to the Internet of the present and the near future.