The United Kingdom Home Office defines “bio-exempt” as a legal category for those not required to submit biometric data to the state, and specifies that children, amputees with one or no fingers, and diplomats are all designated as such. Yet, Home Office also describes bio-exempt as “exempt from control” or “exempt from immigration control.”
In this lecture-performance, Zach Blas will consider “bio-exempt” as a paradigm for today’s global security regime. Bio-exemption, one could say, is a mode of biopolitical control: who has the legal right to be exempt from their embodied self and who has the right to remain unmarked, not indexed.
Zach Blas is an artist, writer, and lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. He has exhibited and lectured internationally, recently at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; e-flux, New York; and Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City. He is a recipient of a 2016 Creative Capital award in Emerging Fields.
Zach Blas is in Australia undertaking a residency at the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane in collaboration with artist Jemima Wyman, towards the development of new work for the exhibition Material Politics, 6 May–15 July.
Presented by Liquid Architecture and Law, Sound and the International at Melbourne Law School.