Jon Rafman

Disasters Under the Sun

FILE Sao Paulo 2022 | Avant Digital Art
Electronic Language International Festival



Rafman’s Disasters Under the Sun depicts visions of an abstract post-human dystopia inhabited by featureless blue avatars continuously tortured by an unknown omnipotent force. Using a haunting combination of computer-generated crowd simulations and disquieting views from a colonoscope, the video presents the viewer with a terrifying image of a future where all humanity is uploaded to a virtual purgatory and endlessly abused. The video meditates on friction between selfhood, the collective anxiety of algorithmic control, and the unique violence of virtual simulation. While a poetic lament, the films are a brutal representation of the fragmented consciousness of a post-physical existence and the impact of technology on our psyche.

Jon Rafman was born in 1981 in Montreal, Canada. His artistic practice spans film, sculpture, photography and installation, incorporating the rich vocabulary of virtual worlds to create poetic narratives that critically engage with the present. His works have been featured in prominent international exhibitions, including the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), and is represented in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Moderna Museet (Stockholm), and many more. Rafman’s recent solo exhibitions include Dream Journal 2016-2019, Centraal Museum (Utrecht), The Mental Traveller, Fondazione Modena Arti Visive (2018), Dream Journal 16′-17′, Sprueth Magers Berlin (2017), I Have Ten Thousand Compound Eyes and Each is Named Suffering, Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam, 2016), Westfälischer Kunstverein (Munster, 2016).