Something is cooking over in Detroit. The art world is picking up pace thanks to the hard work of many people looking to rejuvenate the city and present it as a creative hub. Part of this involves an award given by the Eastern Michigan University Arts Department to encourage young artists to live and work in Detroit. The most recent winner was Evan Roth.
This video features his work Propulsion Painting: Ping Pong, a piece which is part of a series in which spray cans are used to launch or otherwise move different objects such as ping pong balls, toy flags and pinwheels. The ping pong ball hangs suspended in air, held there by the constant spray of orange paint.
Roth’s work is inspired by hackers and by the immense wasteland of online offcuts—the sheer volume of pictures and documents that are viewed and downloaded to your computer. The idea is to take objects which are intended for one thing and use it for something completely different, thus simultaneously undermining the primary use of the objects and challenging prevailing ways of doing things.
Propulsion Painting: Ping Pong features as part of an exhibition titled ‘Welcome To Detroit‘, curated by Gregory Tom and showing at Eastern Michigan University until 2 April 2012. Tom calls Roth’s artworks ‘pop cultural pranksterism’, and you know if a curator gives you your own ‘ism’ you must be doing something right.