In this post we meet Evan Raskob. Evan runs MA modules in Physical Computing and is pursuing a PhD in “liveness in physical computational art & design”. He also performs as a “livecoding” musician under the name BITLIP.
Evan originally hails from the picturesque town of Mahopac in New York State. His father was a dentist and his first interest in computing sparked from reading computing magazines in his office waiting room. At high school, he was inspired by a friend’s father who worked at IBM to use his burgeoning technology skills to create text based adventure games for other students, in the manner of the text-only BBS games that were popular at the time like Legend of the Rd Dragon (LoTRD) and others. He then managed to land himself a summer internship at Bell Labs in New Jersey, the iconic home of the creators of C++ and birthplace of both transistors and the laser.
Evan went to study at Cornell, then moved away from small town life and relocated to New York City for postgraduate study on the Interactive Telecommunication Program (ITP) at NYU. During this time, he was also involved with Julie Martin and Robert Whitman, some of the remaining founding members of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T), an influential and forward-thinking collective of artists and engineers. He immersed himself in creative interactive technology and became particularly interested in building his own digital instruments and audio-visual “controllers”.
His passion in making his own musical, digital DIY/punk instruments has continued. He performs under the artist name BITLIP, where he explores making music through live coding and particularly using 3D printers as instruments. In 2019 Evan was quoted in the New York Times about his live coding:
“The great thing about punk is they played three chords, and you said, ‘I could do that,’” Evan said. “With live coding, you type in a few lines and hit compile and you’re playing music.”
This experience has shaped his work in the UK. Evan relocated to London in 2006 and has since worked at the University of Creative Arts, Kingston University and Ravensbourne University teaching and developing courses in Design, Coding and Computer Games. He then went on to work at the Royal College of Art, where he ran the “Mixed Reality Design” theme exploring VR/AR and sensory design.
Evan joined Computing at Goldsmiths in 2018. He lectures in Physical Computing and takes part in teaching trips to China. At the same time he is working toward a PhD titled “liveness in physical computational art & design”. In particular, he is looking at live computational and procedural sculpting with computer numerical control and 3D printing, augmented by virtual reality/augmented reality and machine learning.