Mark may be young, but his perspective is seasoned and his work, sensational. Focused on ideologies like global mind control and with a view of freedom as “having time to think”, it seems, according to his own definition, that Even has all the freedom in the world. Read on to learn what it’s like to be a cyber outlaw and artist sentenced to ten years in prison at the young age of 15 years old.
How old are you now and how long is your prison sentence? How much of it have you served?
I'm 17. I'm serving a 10 year sentence. Just over 2 years.
What prison are you in?
BALSEC ONE in Steele City, Nebraska
What was your crime? Do you regret it?
It was cyber [virus] based. No.
How did you get involved in making art?
On my 12th birthday I received a copy of Bob Colacello's book, “Holy Terror”. While reading it something inside of me clicked.
Are there resources for artists like you in your facility to research a project or to actually make art? What do you make?
I have limited computer access but I can request books and magazines. The art making process is 100% done by email. I work with two non-inmate collaborator/designers. I author texts and design visuals cultural codes and viruses.
What else do you do to fill the time? Any hobbies? Do you meditate?
I treat my time as if I were in a Zen Buddhist monastery. I practice quietude. I do meditate. I'm also studying the ideas of the Austrian philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. The house he designed for his sister in Vienna is a model for how I design a cultural statement. Each artwork is a self-contained world.
Who are your friends there and do they support you as an artist?
This facility is only for cyber outlaws - We all have similar skills and interests. I do have friends. We consider ourselves to be part of the creative class. Art is based on code writing and code breaking.
Tell me a bit about Donald Judd and why you relate to him.
I view Donald Judd's work and writings as a journey towards the beatific. I'm drawn to the the Marfa years in particular. I sense Judd wanted to reduce the intellectual and emotional noise of his art world era until he arrived at the silence of himself and listened to it. Silence is a compelling idea to explore when you are in prison for a decade.
Finally, what message would you most like to get across to our readers?
Less celebrity culture, less streetwear culture, less stream and swipe culture, and more reflection.
Images courtesy of MARK EVEN
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