Jon Rafman is an artist and filmmaker who examines the effects of contemporary technology, particularly on interpersonal relationships.
Rafman considers the shifting boundaries between the virtual and real while acknowledging the fading difference between the two areas. His work explores the impact of digital technology on the individual and society at large, with a recent emphasis on the effect of digital media on memory and history.
“Hundreds of people stuck in a giant swimming pool passively floating to the rhythm of artificial waves. The poor resolution of the found footage muddles them into a contextless and faceless crowd. Nobody goes against the current or tries to escape the crowd.”
It is the final scene of ‘Mainsqueeze’, the latest video by Jon Rafman. “The video expresses a moral condition or atmosphere without making a moral judgment.” Rafman gravitates towards communities like 4chan because he sees in them a compelling mix of attraction and repulsion. This ambivalence is according to him reflected in the current cultural moment. Surfing the deep web, the artist collects, orders, observes, and makes his source material visible. ‘Mainsqueeze’ is entirely composed of footage found online by Rafman. The voice over text is a combination of modified quotes from literature, Tumblr, and comments on various message boards.
Rafman’s work has been featured in Modern Painters, Frieze, The New York Times, DIS Magazine, and Art Forum. He has been included in various group exhibitions including Les Rencontres d’Arles, the Johan Berggren Gallery, the New Museum and the Fridericianum. His most recent solo exhibitions include Annals of Time Lost, at Future Gallery, Seventeen Gallery, Zach Feuer Gallery and the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis. In 2013, Rafman collaborated with Brooklyn-based experimental musician Oneohtrix Point Never (who performed at TodaysArt 2013).
Jon Rafman’s work will be on display as part of the exhibition ‘the fluidity aspect’, which runs from the 25th of September until the 5th of October. Find more information about the exhibition here.