Artist and filmmaker Jon Rafman studies the impact of technology and digital media on consciousness and contemporary life. Much of his work examines the melancholy in modern societies, communities and virtual realities, bringing to light the beauty in the sadness, perhaps with a hint of Romanticism. Exploring the shifting boundaries and diminished distinctions between the virtual and the real, Rafman’s work demonstrates how the abstraction to which social and political life has led is a dematerialised experience highlighted by isolation. He sheds light on how this phenomenon might offer opportunities for new communities and subcultures to emerge.
Art in the Age of Anxiety features Transdimensional Serpent (2016), a four-minute virtual reality experience that places viewers in a supernatural environment where strange alleys, warm deserts and cold forests are populated by an array of fantastic beings. The piece works to guide the ubiquitous reflection on the impact of technology on contemporary life towards a more concrete physical experience, addressing the fulfilment of corporeal pleasure while speculating on other modes of seeing and being.