Blending documentary techniques with surrealist and silent filmmaking, LOST ALIEN captures the Afrofuturist cosplay of ZiggZaggerZ the Bastard as a photosensitive black alien stranded on a sunlit planet. Having lost her way from the continuum of cosmic blackness, we watch as she wanders through the planet’s forest, struggling against the debilitating effects of the sun while seeking a means of return to her dark dimension. By depicting how ZiggZaggerZ uses cosplay to creatively reimagine her own photosensitivity, Lost Alien explores the power of the Afrofuturist imaginary to transform our perceptions of disability and race. Culminating in a series of interventions in public space, ZiggZaggerZ defamiliarises the humanoid form with her cosplay of alien gesture and movement, while the alien ambient soundtrack by s* with music from label IO SOUND likewise unearths the natural environment through its uncanny atmospheres. As we explore the sunlit world through the eyes and ears of a photosensitive black alien, we experience what it means to feel alienated on a white and bright planet.
tobias c. van Veen
[tobias c. van Veen], b. 1978, is a sound/media artist, photographer, techno.turntablist, and curator. His tactical media/arts explores imaginary offworlds, radical becomings, immersive performance, and occult frequencies of the outer darkness. Tobias has been enmeshed with musikal resistance culture since 1993, performing and provoking via interventions & events, broadcasts & exhibitions. His mediums are many and include: net.art, radio-art, audio-art, video art, turntablism & tactical surrealism. His net.art projects can be found at CTheory.net, Turbulence.org, Rhizome.org, and with the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in NYC. He has experimental electronic and ambient releases in CD & cassette on his label IO SOUND, as well as No Type’s Bricologe and the and/OAR labels.
Since 1997, tobias has organised numerous events, broadcasts, performances, and exhibitions worldwide, collaborating with festivals and galleries including MUTEK Montreal, Steim, Eyebeam, the New Forms Festival, Studio XX, VIVO Media Arts, Hexagram, CiTR Radio 101.9FM, Free Radio 103.9, and Kunstradio. As Founding Director of UpgradeMTL.org at the Society for Art and Technology (SAT), tobias curated the Cabaret for Critical Art Ensemble, the [CTRL] conferences with Media@McGill, and the Critical Practice Resuscitation gathering of Nettime.org. In 2007, tobias curated the audio installation 'espaceSONO :: audio.lab', presenting 36 global sound-artists in a uniquely constructed listening environment at Montreal's SAT[GALERIE].
As a media theorist his work on media/sound arts, Afrofuturism, and philosophy of sound, technology, and race has been published in multiple books, journals, and magazines worldwide. Tobias is co-editor with Reynaldo Anderson of the “Black Lives, Black Politics, Black Futures” special issue of TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies (2018), editor of the Afrofuturism special issue of Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture (2013), and co-editor with Hillegonda Rietveld of the Journal’s special issue “Echoes from the Dub Diaspora” (2015).
Tobias currently hosts the Other Planes: Speculative Cultures podcast on CreativeDisturbance.org, is creative director of sound-art label IOSOUND.ca, and broadcasts techno-turntablist mixes on soundcloud.com/djtobias. His photography can be found on Instagram @fugitivephilo. Holding doctorates in Communication Studies and Philosophy from McGill University, tobias is Research Fellow in Media and Cultural Studies at University of California Riverside.
ZiggZaggerZ the BASTARD
ZiggZaggerZ, the alternate persona of Shannon Theus, is a multidimensional black alien entity who appears in various shapes, dimensions, and media, including performance poetry, cosplay, graphic novels, and science and speculative fiction storytelling. The cosmic world of ZiggZaggerZ the Bastard, Queen of the Damaged, explores how radical black becomings afford inventive escapes, reimaginings, and adaptations to markers of disability, gender, and race.
As a photophobe, and distanced daughter of Arkestra drummer Sonship Theus, ZiggZaggerZ inhabits a dark universe that eschews the light of the sun and its sons. ZiggZaggerZ the Bastard invents black feminist spaces of cosmic solace beyond the patriarchy of the Sun, embracing interventionist and poetic forms of black alien and post-apocalyptic expression.
As a professional cosplayer, Shannon Theus debuted on The View with Whoopi Goldberg, performing as Frank Beddor’s Wonderland character Queen of Clubs. She has cosplayed at international comic-cons and desert music festivals as JetSeer, Uhura, Queen Hippolyta, Wonder Woman, Kali, Kiko, and Catwoman.
ZiggZaggerZ is a dedicated environmentalist and Recording Secretary of Culver City Democratic Club. As part of efforts to stop oil fracking in Los Angeles, ZiggZaggerZ has turned cosplay into causeplay, performing Gamora in public interventions at Culver City Hall.
Ziggy’s cosplay images and poetry have been featured in publications including Pique Newsmagazine and the Journal Women and Language (forthcoming). Her cosplay appears on Instagram @ZiggZaggerZ and her poetry, images, and writing at ZiggZaggerZ.com.
tobias c. van Veen
Lost Alien Cosplay
Makeup, Hair & Costume
ZiggZaggerZ the BASTARD a.k.a. SHANNON THEUS
Executive Producers (CP)