Is LSD recognizable in airport security

Zach Blas

Title: Digital. Virtual. Posthuman? - Conversations with artists · by Magdalena Kröner · pp. 116 - 125

Unrecognizability and autonomy

In his work, the London-based artist, filmmaker and author Zach Blas examines the discriminatory potential of digital surveillance and detection technologies that are used to ensure compliance with laws, establish security in public spaces, consolidate social power structures or a political agenda to establish. Blas includes numerous, different digital technologies and phenomena of digital culture in his artistic research. He is also interested in dealing with the human body in the context of security and surveillance technology applications, such as machine learning, neural networks or chatbots. In his work, Blas activates various forms of queer identity in order to disavow the inherent, repressive tendencies of modern technology. He is currently interested in the origins, founding myths and ideologies of digital culture and the technologies it has developed, such as the Internet or artificial intelligence. In the multimedia, interdisciplinary installation “The Doors” as part of his exhibition “The Unknown Ideal” in the Edith-Russ-Haus in Oldenburg, Blas thinks about the change in Silicon Valley from the center of Californian hip counterculture to a symbol of radical neoliberalism, the invention of the internet, and the importance of psychoactive drugs then and now.

Magdalena Kröner: I liked the core of your approach of turning digital and biometric technology against the companies that originally developed them in order to govern, control and enforce social norms. I would like to learn more about how you developed this original and deeply personal form of activism at the center of your artistic practice. Which came first - art or activism - or are both inextricably linked for you? ...

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