Streamed: Metric Mysticism
Animated graphic of a blue hand holding a stone
Lecture Performance by Zach Blas (Cube Wall)
Wed, August 21, 2019 7 pm – 8 pm CEST, Lecture

Zach Blas creates works that deal with technologies of data collection, security and control and confront the political unconscious of science and technology.

In »Metric Mysticism«, the artist looks into the crystal ball of Silicon Valley and records the transformation of large amounts of data into a magical substance that predicts and monitors our future. The video focuses on the appropriation of mysticism and magic by Silicon Valley start-ups and state surveillance agencies. The crystal ball, a transparent device that allows a glimpse into the future, is a paradigm for the way tech entrepreneurs imagine algorithmically processing information.

The controversial data analysis company »Plantir« Technologies, considered the most powerful machine of espionage and surveillance, appropriates the »Palantir«, a fictional all-seeing crystal ball borrowed from Tolkien's novel »Lord of the Rings« and used by wizards. In »Palantir«, data becomes new absolutes that determine what the future is and how it is to be controlled.

But what if one were to look not into a crystal ball, but into a piece of silicon? Not transparent glass, but an opaque geological material at the core of digital technology. Contrary to the forecasts for the future, Blas asks whether a reorientation of our view can offer a way to better understand the crisis of the present?

Every Wednesday, the ZKM Karlsruhe invites you to lecture performances. As part of this, video works dealing with the city, people and the future will be shown on the LED wall of the ZKM Cube. The various works deal with technological and social structures in an artistic, speculative, poetic or even spiritual way.

Please note: In case of bad weather the event will not take place.

Accompanying program