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ArtSchool Podcast with Zach Blas

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Arising from THE EDUCATIONAL WEB exhibition programme at Kunstverein in Hamburg which ran from 1 April–6 August 2023, Afterall ArtSchool initiated a series of online conversations with artists, scholars, and collectives examining artistic practice and the educational epistemologies which underpin it. Emphasising the pedagogic qualities of dialogue and exchange, these conversations, which now double as podcast episodes on Afterall ArtSchool, involve practitioners thinking through and across three different strands: problematising the decolonial institution, education as learning together, and studying in the shadows.

Listen here for a conversation between artist, filmmaker, and writer, Zach Blas and Afterall ArtSchool co-editor Camille Crichlow. Blas’s creative practice engages the materiality of digital technologies while also drawing out the philosophies and imaginaries lurking in artificial intelligence, biometric recognition, predictive policing, airport security, the internet, and biological warfare. The discussion reflects on Blas’s pedagogical and research-based approaches to artistic practice and technologies of capture informed by queer and feminist theory.


Zach Blas is an artist, filmmaker, and writer whose practice spans installation, moving image, computation, theory, and performance. Blas has exhibited, lectured, and held screenings at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Tate Modern, 12th Berlin Biennale, Walker Art Center, British Art Show 9, 12th Gwangju Biennale, de Young Museum, the 68th Berlin International Film Festival, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, ICA London, Van Abbemuseum, e-flux, ZKM Center for Art and Media, Australian Centre for Contemporary Art, and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo.
Recent artworks have addressed fantasies of artificial intelligence, AI religiosity, policing as mysticism, the crystal balls of Silicon Valley, time travel, and smart drug psychedelia. His practice has been supported by a Creative Capital award in Emerging Fields, the Arts Council England, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, and the United Kingdom Arts and Humanities Research Council. Blas’s writings can be found in the collections You Are Here: Art After the Internet, Documentary Across Disciplines, Queer: Documents of Contemporary Art, e-flux journal, and other art journals and exhibition catalogues. His work has been written about and featured in Artforum, Frieze, ArtReview, BBC, The Guardian, and The New York Times. His 2021 artist monograph Unknown Ideals is published by Sternberg Press. Blas is an Assistant Professor of Visual Studies in the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.

Camille Crichlow is ArtSchool Co-Editor at Afterall Research Centre (Central St. Martins) and a PhD Researcher at the Sarah Parker Remond Centre for the Study of Racism and Racialisation (University College London). Her research interrogates how historical and emergent formations of racialism manifest in contemporary algorithmic regimes and techno-visual cultures.


“Space Jazz”
Kevin MacLeod (
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0

Thank you to the sponsors of THE EDUCATIONAL WEB

Kulturstiftung des Bundes
Behörde für Kultur und Medien Hamburg
Hamburgische Kulturstiftung
K.S. Fischer Stiftung