(CA 2017, 7 min)
Jon Rafman’s “Poor Magic” (2017) is a vision of a post-human dystopia featuring animated 3-D bodies continuously tortured in abstract digital space. The video presents the viewer with a haunting programme of repeating motifs: a blue featureless avatar, a view from a colonoscope, and ranks of identical figures crashing and toppling over each other, made with the help of crowd-simulation software. While a poetic lament, Poor Magic addresses the fragmented consciousness of a post-physical existence. The film presents a terrifying image of a future where all humanity is uploaded to a virtual purgatory and endlessly abused. Or perhaps it is also a brutal representation of the present moment and the effect that technology has on our flesh and psyche.
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.