Artwork Incorporates iPhone Smudges, WiFi Routers, Internet Cache Portraits

Artwork Incorporates iPhone Smudges, WiFi Routers, Internet Cache Portraits
Arts & Culture

Artist Evan Roth's work shows how high-tech materials can be used to create abstract art.

Leah Gonzalez
  • 31 july 2014

Paris-based American artist Evan Roth is known for applying a “hacker philosophy” to his work and incorporating elements of technology into his pieces of art. The artist’s wide range of work includes prints, sculptures, videos, and websites.

The award-winning artist’s most recent art series feature abstract works of art that were created using iPhone smudges, Internet cache self portraits, WiFi routers, and website imaging.


His ongoing series called Multi-Touch Painting Series features paintings that were created by performing typical tasks on hand-held touchscreen devices like smartphones and tablets. The series include mostly-black finger smudges on a white background. In some pieces, Roth included the color red to contrast the black and white.

To create these art pieces, Roth places a piece of tracing paper over his phone, dips his finger in ink, and proceeds to perform routine tasks on his smartphone. Some of the pieces in the series include the paintings “Slide to Unlock,” “Next, Next, Next,” “Zoom In, Zoom Out,” “User Name and Password, and “Launch Twitter. Check Twitter. Close Twitter.” – artwork that results from common and familiar actions people do on their touchscreen devices.


Roth also has another ongoing series called Internet Cache Self Portrait series, which feature archived images that were collected passively through everyday use of the internet. Each print in the series is a unique collection of cached images from a specific date.

Another one of Roth’s tech-integrated pieces is the Kopimi Totem, a sculpture made of seven open wireless routers arranged in a Kopimi pyramid. The shape of the piece is also reflected in ASCII form when a visitor opens the wireless settings on a computer or mobile device. The routers are fully functional and even allow visitors to access archival media from 10 years of history of the Piratbyrån organization, whose member Ibi Kopimi Botani created the idea of Kopimi. Kopimi is a copyright alternative that encourages all forms of copying. The project was made in collaboration with Piratbyrån.


Roth’s recent work also includes A Tribute To Heather, an ongoing series of websites featuring animations sourced from Heathers Animations, and the Silhouette series, featuring the 18th century technique of the same name.

Roth’s work has been exhibited all over the globe. The Internet Cache Self Portrait series, for example, has been exhibited in galleries such as the Gallery Niklas Belenius in Stockholm, and the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery in Wesleyan University in Connecticut. The Multi-Touch Paintings series has also been exhibited in the Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery, XPO Gallery in Paris, N2 Galeria in Barcelona, among others.

The piece “Zoom In, Zoom Out” from the Multi-Touch Paintings series will be displayed at Carroll Fletcher Gallery in London tomorrow through September 13th. In addition, the Kopimi Totem will go on display at an exhibition called Snelhest in Alingsas, Sweden from September 1st to December 22nd.

Read more about the artist and his work on his website.

Evan Roth


“Next, Next, Next” Photo by Vinciane Verguethen; Multi-Touch Painting series, lambda print face-mounted to acrylic, flush-mounted to Dibond in artist’s frame, 61cm x 120cm, 2014

“Zoom In Zoom Out” Photo by Vinciane Verguethen, courtesy XPO Gallery; Multi-Touch Painting series, Lambda print face mounted on acrylic, dibond backing (diptych), 130cm x 120cm, 2013

“Internet Cache Self Portrait (3/2013 – 6/2013)” Photo courtesy Wesleyan University, Vinyl print, 150cm x 4224cm, 2013

“Kopimi Totem” Photo courtesy Geraldine Juárez, WIFI routers, 82cm x 34cm x 52cm, 2014

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