Jon Rafman is a busy man. Based in Montreal, the artist has a constant slate of international shows, including upcoming exhibitions in France and Sweden.
One of the great things about his work however is that much of it can be seen from the comfort of your own computer screen. In fact much of his work deals with just this phenomenon, the armchair tourist in the age of the internet.
One of his most well-known series is “The Nine Eyes of Google Street View”, viewable online at 9-eyes.com. Rafman spent many hours using Google Streetview to travel the planet, taking a screencap whenever he came across something interesting, much like a tourist taking holiday snapshots. Several of the most interesting images, which range from the comical to the downright disturbing, were enlarged and printed, allowing for gallery based shows and a book.
One of these images, an iconic one of a naked woman standing by the sea, inspired Rafman to create “You, the World, and I” a short film, sometimes projected, of a woman who refuses to have her picture taken, and the man who is trying to find her by searching for her image on the internet.
With “Kool-aid Man in Second Life” Rafman acts as tour guide to places that only exist online. The constructed worlds of Second Life can be deeply personal, and stereotyped, often hypersexual, and even at times quite beautiful. Rafmans character of the Kool-Aid man leads us through some of these worlds. Visit KoolAidManinSecondLife.com to watch an introductory video and to book your own guided tour.