Oct. 31 – Dec. 10, 2014
Selby Galleries I & II: Evan Roth\\Intellectual Property Donor
The worlds of hacking and art intersect in Roth’s powerful work. Organized by the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University Middletown, CT; and curated by Ginger Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox of curatorsquared.
Evan Roth’s work occupies the irregular zone at the intersection of free culture with popular culture, where viral media meets art, and graffiti connects with technology. The work is defined less by medium and genre than by its appropriation of popular culture. Evan Roth’s work is informed by the misuse of seemingly rigid structures, and the effect that philosophies from hacker communities can have when applied to non-digital systems. The powerful and surprising images, objects and experiences this exhibition presents introduce a new way to exist within the current environment that is shaped by our participation in an increasingly cyber and global world, yet grounded in our need for materiality and personal connections.
Roth consistently intervenes into existing systems to subvert or transform them from the private realm to the public. His interest with graffiti and open source programming fall under the rubric of hacking. He often mentions a “handshake” moment between graffiti writers and hackers, noting the inherent potential to reach wider audiences and spread into general popular culture by referencing the same systems and open source methodologies. He cites as his major influences free culture, issues surrounding copyright and online popular culture. Mr. Roth inventively takes his artist’s brain and reaches into the disparate worlds of computer programming and street culture, forging a new way to approach each realm through highlighting the sometimes-confounding issues that define urban culture. This exhibition will highlight these connections, making them real for visitors.
Ultimately, Evan Roth’s work is about intervening in a small but impactful way; whether a graffiti artist adds a tag to an existing public arena, or a hacker finds a loophole in a website that alters the performance of the site, or an artist initiates a dialogue with the public that suggests tweaking established systems or encouraging us to revisit the status quo. In inviting visitors to experience this first-hand, Roth is further reinforcing the viral component of his work. Evan Roth//Intellectual Property Donor offers a unique opportunity to understand the artist’s approach from analysis and archiving to experimentation through to the final—and in the artist’s mind—most important step, opening it up to the world for participation.
Evan Roth is an American artist based in Paris whose work explores the relationship between misuse and empowerment. His notable pieces include Graffiti Taxonomy, Multi Touch, EyeWriter, Internet Cache
Portraits and a collaboration with Jay-Z on the first open source rap video. In an exploration of search engine optimization, he has also become the number one google search result for “bad ass mother
fucker.” Born in 1978 in Okemos, Michigan, Evan Roth earned a degree in Architecture from the University of Maryland, and an M.F.A. from the Design and Technology department at Parsons The New School for
Design, where he graduated as class valedictorian. Roth worked at the Eyebeam OpenLab, an open source creative technology lab for the public domain as a Research and Development Fellow from 2005 to 2006
and was a Senior Fellow there from 2006 to 2007. Evan Roth co-founded the Graffiti Research Lab in 2005 and the Free Art and Technology Lab (FAT Lab), an arts and free culture collective, in 2007. Roth currently lives in Paris with his wife and daughter where he maintains a studio and is represented by XPO Gallery. His work can be found online at evan-roth.com.
Sponsored for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and WSMR Classical 89.1.
[EVENTS IN SELBY GALLERY – free and open to the public]
Opening Reception: Friday, Oct. 31, 5-7pm. Come in costume for treats and raffle prizes.
Curator Tour with Ginger Duggan, curatorsquared: Monday, Nov. 3, 11:30 am
Artist Talk: TBA
MONDAY – SATURDAY, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM and
TUESDAY, 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
[LOCATION] Selby Gallery is located on the Ringling College of Art and Design campus, one-half block east of 2700 N. Tamiami Trail on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way in Sarasota.
[ABOUT SELBY GALLERY] All Selby Gallery exhibitions and presentations (and most of our special events) are free and open to the public.