MELBOURNE, FLA. — The first major U.S. exhibition of American-born artist Evan Roth’s, multi-faceted and interactive installations, custom software, prints, sculptures and websites will come to Florida Institute of Technology’s Foosaner Art Museum from Sept. 12 through Nov. 8.
Evan Roth//Intellectual Property Donor will kick off with a lecture by Roth starting at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 at the museum’s Harris Community Auditorium. The lecture, “The Art of Misuse,” is free with museum admission.
As the description of the exhibition’s contents illustrates, Roth’s work occupies the irregular zone at the intersection of free culture and popular culture, where viral media meets art and graffiti connects with technology. Roth, a Michigan native now living in Paris, creates work that explores the relationship between misuse and empowerment.
Artwork in the exhibition includes “Slide To Unlock,” a wall-scaled print created by performing a routine task on a multi-touch hand-held computing devices, and “Level Cleared,” a series of 1,700 smartphone-screen-sized ink prints of the gestures required to beat the 300 levels of the popular game “Angry Birds.”
Roth’s work is defined less by medium and genre than by its appropriation of popular culture. It 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 images, objects and experiences presented in the exhibition suggest a new way to exist within an increasingly cyber and global world.
Evan Roth//Intellectual Property Donor is organized by the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, Center for the Arts, Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and is curated by Ginger Gregg Duggan and Judith Hoos Fox of CuratorSquared.
Roth cites as his major influences free culture, issues surrounding copyright, and online popular culture. Roth inventively reaches into the disparate worlds of computer programming and street culture, forging a new way to approach each realm by highlighting the sometimes-confounding issues that define urban culture.
Born in 1978 in Okemos, Michigan, 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. He 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. 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’s art, which can be found at evan-roth.com, is in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York and has been exhibited widely in the Americas, Asia and Europe, including at the Centre Pompidou and Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris, the Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, and the Tate in London.
In addition to Roth’s Sept. 12 lecture, there are several events scheduled in conjunction with the exhibition.
- “Brain Food: An Evening of TED Talks, Tech-tinis, and Giga-bites,” 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, Foosaner Art Museum. Refreshments will be provided, and there will be the opportunity to meet the artist. Tickets are $20 for members, $25 for non-members and $10 for students and are available at foosanerartmuseum.org and at the door. There is a $5 discount if purchased by Sept. 5.
- Light Writing Workshop, 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 15, Renee Foosaner Education Center. Students, led by instructor Dominic Agostini, will explore Roth’s graffiti research by using movement and LED lights to create long-exposure photographs. Appropriate for children 8-years-old and older. Cost is $25 per person for members, $40 per person for non-members. Registration is available online only at foosanerartmuseum.org. Space is limited.
- Docent-led gallery tours, 2 p.m. each Thursday, Sept. 17-Nov. 5. Ease into the conceptual universe of Evan Roth with the guidance of our trained docents. Free.
For more information on the exhibition or related events, please visit www.foosanerartmuseum.org or call 321-674-8916.