Spanning religiosity, science fiction, contemporary perspectives on artificial intelligence, and the techno-industrial complex, artist Zach Blas and writer/editor Jayne Wilkinson will be discussing CULTUS, an art installation currently being shown as part of the Belkin Gallery’s January 12 – April 14, 2024 exhibition, Aporia (Notes to a Medium),
Here’s what the folks at the Belkin Art Gallery (Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery) had to say in their January 30, 2024 announcement (received via email),
Artist Talk with Zach Blas and Jayne Wilkinson
Thursday, February 1 at 5 pm
Please join us for a lecture by interdisciplinary artist Zach Blas, with a dialogue to follow with writer/editor Jayne Wilkinson. Blas will discuss his most recent work, CULTUS, the second in a trilogy of queer science-fiction installations addressing the beliefs, fantasies and histories that are influential to the contemporary tech industry. CULTUS (the Latin word for “worship”) considers the God-like status often afforded to artificial intelligence (AI) and examines how this religiosity is marshalled to serve beliefs about judgement and transcendence, extraction and immortality, pleasure and punishment, individual freedom and cult devotion. The conversation to follow will address some of the pressing intersecting political and ethical questions raised by both using and critiquing contemporary image technologies like AI.
This conversation will be audio-recorded; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in listening to the recording following the event.
This talk is presented in conjunction with the Belkin’s exhibition Aporia (Notes to a Medium) and Critical Image Forum, a collaboration between the Belkin and the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at UBC.
For anyone (like me) who’s never heard of either Blas or Wilkinson, there’s more on the Belkin’s event page,
Zach Blas is an artist, filmmaker and writer whose practice draws out the philosophies and imaginaries residing in computational technologies and their industries. Working across moving image, computation, installation, theory and performance, Blas has exhibited, lectured and held screenings at venues including the 12th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, Tate Modern, 12th Gwangju Biennale and e-flux. His 2021 artist monograph Unknown Ideals is published by Sternberg Press. Blas is currently Assistant Professor of Visual Studies at the University of Toronto.
Jayne Wilkinson is a Toronto-based art writer and editor.
Should you be interested in attending the talk and/or the exhibition, here are some directions, from the Belkin Gallery’s Visit webpage,
The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is located at the University of British Columbia Vancouver campus, 1825 Main Mall, Vancouver BC, V6T 1Z2
By Public Transit
TransLink offers many routes to UBC, including several express services (44, 84, R4, 99). The UBC Bus Loop is the last stop for each of these buses, and is located in the central area of campus near the AMS Nest. To get to the gallery, walk west on University Boulevard. (about 1 block) until you reach Main Mall. Turn right onto Main Mall and continue for about 3 blocks until you reach Crescent Road. We are located on your left at the corner of Main Mall and Crescent Road, near the Flagpole Plaza.
From downtown Vancouver, proceed west on West 4th Avenue, which becomes Chancellor Blvd and then merges with NW Marine Drive. Continue west on NW Marine Drive, to the Rose Garden Parkade (on your left).
From the airport, proceed to SW Marine Drive. Stay on SW Marine Drive, which eventually merges with NW Marine Drive. Continue just past the Museum of Anthropology (on your left) to the Rose Garden Parkade (on your right).
The Belkin is wheelchair accessible. The main entrance is located on the east side of the building next to Main Mall. For people requiring wheelchair or easier accessibility, use the ramp from Crescent Road to access the main gallery doors. This entrance is level and accessible and has both a revolving door and a powered wheelchair-accessible door.
Washrooms are all-gender and include two multi-stall washrooms with wheelchair-accessible stalls and one stand-alone washroom that is wheelchair accessible.
Portable gallery stools are available for use.
Large Print Materials
Large print materials are available.
ASL interpreters are available upon request for Belkin programs and events. To request interpretation for an event or tour, please contact us in advance.
Service dogs are welcome to accompany visitors.
The Belkin’s office is scent free. Occasionally, there are works or projects that are scent-focused.
Please ask our staff if you require any assistance or have any questions.
Admission to the gallery is free.