I met Evan for the first time at Ars Electronica in 2006 riding the GRL wave. The following years we kept meeting up in the same shows all over the globe and became good friends. I only know a few artists who have been that influential for a whole generation of internet aware artists and art aware coders in the recent past.
I always admired Evan for his radical openness. It takes a lot of guts as an artist to open up and share your artist practice to such an extend. Creating tools, generate and share open source code that enables everyone to make and distribute art online or in public space is Evans mission. His work is full of hacks for the browser and the city! They range from clever every day micro interventions on an air plane, to digital tools which change they way of thinking for a whole generation of writers.
Evans philosophy, the crossover of pop culture and open source plays an important role not only within F.A.T. Lab. Hackers meet rappers! Richard Stallmann and Andy Warhol posing as best friends – back in the days photoshop! It already feels to me like these two fields have age-old tradition of co-operations. Yes, they will have! Thanks to Evan’s high skills in picturing this philosophy he successfully branded a young generation of art aware coders and internet aware artists with his ideas. ‘With joint forces we can beat the shit out of the systems!’ No one else knows so well how to play the click-masses for crowd sourced projects or hits the nerve better with participatory projects on the meme stream.
In the tradition of pop-art Evan deconstructs the web with great precision in its visual language and underlying code. He rearranges and combines these elements of mainstream internet and meme culture to visual iconic pieces. Or instead of breaking these systems Evan applies taxonomies to disclose the hidden rules of them. The alphabetical order of html tags or precise analysis of graffiti tags from Paris are driven yb the same thoughts!
My own work is truly influenced by Evans (and FAT labs) stlye. It was always fun hanging, discussing and co-working!
Keep breaking the system Evan!
Aram Bartholl 2011 – written for “When We Were Kings“ – Evan Roth solo speed show