The Silicon Zone:
Panel Discussion

Public Program
Mar 29, 2018
Zach Blas, Jubilee 2033 (film still) 2018. Commissioned by Gasworks, London; Art in General, New York; and MU, Eindhoven.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Art in General
145 Plymouth Street (Map)
Dumbo, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Art in General presents The Silicon Zone, a panel discussion bringing together leading artists and thinkers working across disciplines of technology, queer theory, art history, philosophy, and media studies. Each will discuss their own work in relation to themes present in the exhibition Zach Blas: Contra-Internet, touching on topics from aesthetic strategies in queer cinema, new trends in Silicon Valley, to contemporary manifestations of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism and more.

Speakers include: Zach Blas, artist, writer and lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, whose first solo exhibition in New York, Contra-Internet, is currently on view at Art in General; Ricardo Dominguez, artist, associate professor at the University of California, co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance Theater, who developed virtual sit-in technologies in solidarity with the Zapatistas and created Transborder Immigrant Tool, an app which uses GPS technology to help immigrants find water stations in the Southern California desert; Lisa Duggan, queer theorist and professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University, who is at currently at work on a new book about Ayn Rand and neoliberalism and an e-book series with University of California Press titled American Studies Now; Homay King, professor in the Department of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College and the Director of the Program in Film Studies, whose latest book traces the concept of the virtual through the philosophical works of Bergson, Deleuze, and Agamben to offer a new framework for thinking about time-based contemporary videos and films; and Brian Kuan Wood, writer, co-founding editor of e-flux journal, and teacher at the Masters in Curatorial Practice program at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

This program is organized by Zach Blas; Laurel Ptak, Executive Director and Curator of Art in General, and Marta Cacciavillani, Curatorial Fellow. Special thanks to Humanities New York and Creative Capital for their support. The Silicon Zone is organized in conjunction with the exhibition Zach Blas: Contra-Internet on view at Art in General through April 21, 2018.

Zach Blas is an artist, writer, and professor based in London. He holds a Ph.D from Duke University in Literature and currently serves as Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. His artistic practice engages technics and minoritarian politics, most recently addressing technologies of capture, security, and control and their relationship to systems of power. Blas has exhibited his artistic work internationally, at Gasworks, London; Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane; Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore; Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City. His writing is published in books and journals including: 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. His work has been written about and featured in The Guardian, The New York Times, Artforum and many other publications.

Ricardo Dominguez is associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, in the Visual Arts Department, a Hellman Fellow, and Principal/Principle Investigator at CALIT2 and the Performative Nano-Robotics Lab at SME, UCSD. He is a co-founder of The Electronic Disturbance Theater (EDT), a group who developed virtual sit-in technologies in solidarity with the Zapatistas communities in Chiapas, Mexico, in 1998. His recent Electronic Disturbance Theater 2.0/b.a.n.g. lab project ( with Brett Stalbaum, Micha Cardenas, Amy Sara Carroll, and Elle Mehrmand, the Transborder Immigrant Tool (a GPS cell phone safety net tool for crossing the Mexico/US border) was the winner of “Transnational Communities Award” (2008), an award funded by Cultural Contact, Endowment for Culture Mexico–US and handed out by the US Embassy in Mexico. It also was funded by CALIT2 and the UCSD Center for the Humanities. The Transborder Immigrant Tool has been exhibited at the 2010 California Biennial (OCMA), Toronto Free Gallery, Canada (2011), The Van Abbemuseum, Netherlands (2013), ZKM, Germany (2013), as well as a number of other national and international venues. The project was also under investigation by the US Congress in 2009-2010 and was reviewed by Glenn Beck in 2010 as a gesture that potentially “dissolved” the U.S. border with its poetry.

Lisa Duggan i is a journalist, activist, and Professor of Social & Cultural Analysis at New York University. She is author of Sapphic Slashers: Sex, Sensationalism and American Modernity and Twilight of Equality? Neoliberalism, Cultural Politics and the Attack on Democracy, co-author with Nan Hunter of Sex Wars: Sexual Dissent and Political Culture, and co-editor with Lauren Berlant of Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and National Interest. She is at currently at work on Mean Girl: Ayn Rand and Neoliberal Greed, forthcoming in a new e-book series she is co-editing with University of California Press called American Studies Now. She was president of the American Studies Association during 2014-2015.

Homay King is Eugenia Chase Guild Chair in the Humanities and Professor in the Department of History of Art at Bryn Mawr College, and the Director of the Program in Film Studies. She is the author of Virtual Memory: Time-based Art and the Dream of Digitality (2015) and Lost in Translation: Orientalism, Cinema, and The Enigmatic Signifier(2010), both from Duke University Press. Her essays on film and contemporary art have appeared in Afterall, Discourse, Film Criticism, Film Quarterly, October, and edited collections including the exhibition catalog for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s China: Through the Looking Glass. She is a member of the Camera Obscura editorial collective.

Brian Kuan Wood is a writer based in New York, and a founding editor of e-flux journal. His recent writings include the essays “The Horses” (Marion von Osten, Once We Were Artists, eds. Tom Holert, Maria Hlavajova, BAK, 2016), “Frankenethics” (Final Vocabulary, ed. Mai Abu ElDahab, Sternberg Press, 2015), “Is it Heavy or Is It Light?” (e-flux journal, 2015) and “Is it Love?” (e-flux journal, 2014); the short story “Paradigm Thing” (Guggenheim Museum, forthcoming 2016); the films Liquidity Inc. (co-written with Hito Steyerl, 2014) and Metahaven’s City Rising (2014), as well as other texts on or with Annika Eriksson, Babak Afrassiabi and Nasrin Tabatabai, Lara Favaretto, Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Gean Moreno and Ernesto Oroza, Hassan Khan, and Mary Walling Blackburn.

General Support of Art in General is provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services; the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland; The Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors; and by individuals. This program is also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The New Commissions Program is made possible by the Trust for Mutual Understanding; National Endowment for the Arts; Jerome Foundation; Ruth Ivor Foundation; and the Milton and Sally Avery Foundation. Support has also been provided by: Commissioners’ Circle leaders Elaine Goldman, Richard Massey, Jeffery Larsen and Joseph Bolduc; Commissioners’ Circle supporters John and Andrea Nylund and David Solo; and Commissioners’ Circle members Nader Ansary, Rob Colangelo, Don Erenberg, Roya Khadjavi-Heidari, Mary Lapides, Eric Nylund, Leslie Ruff, Steve Shane, and Diana Wege.

Special Project Support provided by Humanities NY and Creative Capital.

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Project Descriptions:

Zach Blas: Contra-Internet
The Silicon Zone:
Panel Discussion