Jon Rafman

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Rafman in 2013

Jon Rafman (born 1981) is an artist, filmmaker, and essayist. His work centers around the emotional, social and existential impact of technology on contemporary life. His artwork has gained international attention and was exhibited in 2015 at Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal (Montreal).[1] He is widely known for exhibiting found images from Google Street View in his online artwork 9-Eyes (2009-ongoing).[2][3]


Rafman was born in Montreal, Canada. He holds an M.F.A. from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a B.A. in Philosophy and Literature from McGill University. He lives in Montreal.


Rafman giving a lecture in Moscow, Spring 2012

Rafman's work focuses on technology and digital media, often using narrative to emphasize the ways in which they connect users back to society and history. Much of his work focuses on melancholy in modern social interactions, communities and virtual realities (primarily Google Earth, Google Street View and Second Life), while still bringing light to the beauty of them in a manner sometimes inspired by Romanticism. His videos and art utilize personal moments intended to reveal how pop culture ephemera and subcultures shape individual desires, and will often define those individuals in return.

Rafman's Kool-Aid Man in Second Life project involves a tour around the virtual universe of Second Life, which is hosted by his avatar, a 3D render of the Kool-Aid Man. The project deals with how users employ social exploits in order to conjure an idealized self and, with success, entertain sexual fetishes in the virtual world.

In September 2013, Rafman collaborated with Brooklyn-based experimental musician Oneohtrix Point Never, formally known as Daniel Lopatin, on a music video for Still Life to accompany the release of R Plus Seven on Warp Records.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13] The two later collaborated to create a two-part music video for Sticky Drama, from Lopatin's 2015 album Garden of Delete.[14]


Solo exhibitions[edit]

  • Annals of Time Lost, Future Gallery, Berlin, April 2013[15]
  • A Man Digging, Seventeen Gallery, London, May 2013[16]
  • You Are Standing in an Open Field, Zach Feuer Gallery New York, September 2013[17]
  • I have ten thousand compound eyes and each is named suffering, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, May 2016[18]
  • Il Viaggiatore Mentale, Palazzina dei Giardini, Modena, September 2018[19]

Group exhibitions[edit]

Publications with contributions by Rafman[edit]


  1. ^ "Jon Rafman | Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal". Retrieved 2016-05-08.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Guardiola, Ingrid (2018). L'ull i la navalla (in Catalan). Arcadia. ISBN 9788494717475.
  4. ^ Tim Walker (2012-07-25). "Google Street View photographs: the man on the street - Features - Art". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  5. ^ "The street views Google wasn't expecting you to see – in pictures | Art and design". 2012-02-20. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  6. ^ "Jon Rafman's Surreal Google Street View Accidents (PHOTOS)". 2012-02-27. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  7. ^ "The Nine Eyes of Google Street View: a photo project by Jon Rafman". Telegraph. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  8. ^ "The Portraits of Google Street View - Alexis C. Madrigal". The Atlantic. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  9. ^ Rafman, Jon (2012-05-04). "Interview: Jon Rafman, The lack of history in the post-Internet age". eyecurious. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  10. ^ "Jon Rafman and Rosa Aiello: Remember Carthage". New Museum. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  11. ^ "Global Entertainment". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-09-16.
  12. ^ Twerdy, Saelan. "Jon Rafman: Mapping Google - Canadian Art". Archived from the original on 2013-09-28. Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  13. ^ Jon Rafman (2009-08-12). "IMG MGMT: The Nine Eyes of Google Street View". Retrieved 2013-09-15.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "FUTURE GALLERY". Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  16. ^ "Jon Rafman, A Man Digging - Seventeen". Seventeen. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  17. ^ "Jon Rafman: You Are Standing In An Open Field | Zach Feuer". Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  18. ^ "Jon Rafman: I have ten thousand compound eyes and each is named suffering". Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  19. ^ "JON RAFMAN. THE MENTAL TRAVELLER". Retrieved 2019-01-06.
  20. ^ "JOHAN BERGGREN GALLERY". Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  21. ^ Rosenberg, Karen (2010-10-21). "'Free,' at New Museum, Explores Internet as Public Art Scene". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  22. ^ "Speculations on Anonymous Materials". Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  23. ^ "Jon Rafman – MAC Montréal". MAC Montréal. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  24. ^ "Jon Rafman – MAC Montréal". MAC Montréal. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  25. ^ "Jon Rafman – MAC Montréal". MAC Montréal. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  26. ^ "Jon Rafman". Palais de Tokyo EN. 2016-05-26. Retrieved 2018-01-30.
  27. ^ Karl-Magnus Johansson (2013), Communicating the Archive : Physical Migration, The Regional State Archives in Gothenburg. ISBN 978-91-979866-3-2

External links[edit]