Disasters Under the Sun
(CA 2019, 7 min)
Disasters Under the Sun (2019) continues Rafman’s journey into the heart of contemporary alienation and the paradoxes of modernity illustrating once more that the very digital and technological instruments that estrange us from ourselves can inform us of the source of our alienation. The film portrays a post-human dystopia featuring faceless 3-D avatars continuously tortured in abstract digital space, a terrifying image of a future where all humanity is uploaded to a virtual purgatory and endlessly abused. Or is it also a brutal representation of the present moment and the effect that a world dominated by algorithms has on our flesh and psyche? As Rafman explains: “My latest videos and installations have a darker tone, delving into the murkier corners of the Web. What concerns me is the general sense of entrapment and isolation felt by many as social and political life becomes increasingly abstracted and experience dematerialized. There is no viable or compelling avenue for effecting change or emancipating consciousness, so the energy that once motivated revolution or critique gets redirected into strange and sometimes disturbing expression.”
Jon Rafman― Kunstenaar
In his video films and installations, Canadian artist Jon Rafman (1981, Montreal) explores the social effects of digital media. The artist is fascinated by how the boundless possibilities of the Internet and virtual platforms affect and redefine our behaviour, social life, and even personal identity. In his work he oscillates between wit, melancholy and alienation. Rafman is regarded as one of the leading artists of the digital age, and has a huge online following.