MOCA Jacksonville’s new Project Atrium installation by artist Evan Roth is called Since You Were Born. And, it’s larger than life.
Since You Were Born, which is comprised of large vinyl panels stretching from the floor to the ceiling of the museum’s multi-story atrium, provides a view into Roth’s internet browsing data over a four-month period, starting on the day his daughter was born.
The artist collected the content using a program that extended the life of his computer’s cache. He then created prints of that content - revealing memories that were never meant to be saved, transforming something temporary into something permanent in the process.
Roth explained what it was like to revist all this content while working on the installation.
"I would see a lot of my own process - like a lot of things I was doing a few years ago that turned into pieces now," said Roth. "I enjoyed seeing that. I liked seeing how this thing I was thinking in this moment either did or didn't formalize into this other thing at a different period in time."
Since You Were Born is part of the artist's Internet Cache Self Portrait Series - and his largest work to date.
“We always use the entire space with Project Atrium in different ways,” said MOCA Director Caitlin Doherty. "Sometimes it's the volume of the space. Sometimes the square footage seems to come to the fore, and sometimes it's the height. But the work that's created in this space is always for the space. So it's brand new work, which really challenges the artists to grow their professional practice and make something site-specific, something challenged by the space itself.”
Roth said he hopes that the installation will encourage visitors to think about their relationship with technology.
"I hope that more of the piece is people looking at this and thinking about their own relationship to the network and to connectedness, rather than sort of piecing together all these little pieces of who I am - which is a totally fine way to view the piece, also," said Roth. "But, I think it's much more - I'm hopeful that it's more a kind of a snapshot about culture through the web at a given moment than it is about me.”