THE MOST ICONIC ARTWORKS OF THE LAST 5 YEARS
What are the most resonant works of art from the recent past? From among the thousands of individual works that pass through galleries and museums, which have affected the conversation in some significant way? Amid all of contemporary art's chaotic installations and ephemeral gestures, which images have some staying power? These are the questions that ARTINFO set out to answer with its list of "100 Most Iconic Artworks From the Last 5 Years."
But a great number of the memorable works on our list were conceived for museum shows, biennials, or as public art works of various kinds. Street art, or works that found an audience through relatively unconventional channels, like Jon Rafman's "9 Eyes of Google Street View" (which gained notoriety as a photo essay on Art Fag City)
RAFMAN'S GOOGLE GOOD'S; SCREEN SHOTS OF GOOGLE STREET VIEW PROBE THE PASSION FOR MAPPING
May 2012, by David Jager, NOW
The world is stranger than we imagine, and nothing confirms it more than Jon Rafmanâs show, The Nine Eyes Of Google Street View, now at Angell.
Taking screen shots of images culled from Googleâs huge digital compendium of worldwide street scenes, Rafman captures two converging phenomena: the baffling weirdness of the world colliding head on with our rapacious desire to map it.
Rafmanâs practised eye frames moments of spectacular incongruity. Some images are from the periphery, what may be a rapidly receding frontier of the undocumented: a road ending at the edge of the Mojave Desert, a wildfire in the Yucatan, horses galloping past a cemetery in Jurby, on the Isle of Man.
There are equally uncanny urban scenes: a man enjoying a stretch on a Manhattan street, a woman in SÃ£o Paulo setting a new standard for what it means to work a street corner.
INTERVIEW: JON RAFMAN, THE LACK OF HISTORY IN THE POST-INTERNET AGE
May 2012, by Eyecurious
Jon Rafman is a Canadian artist and filmmaker based in Montreal. He recently gave a talk about his work entitled âIn Search of the Virtual Sublimeâ at the GaitÃ© Lyrique, a new space devoted to digital culture in Paris. I met up with Jon in a cafÃ© near the Jardin du Luxembourg to discuss Google Street View, street photography, the cyberflÃ¢neur and what the future looks like.
How did you start working in the digital space?
After I graduated I discovered a community of artists on the social bookmarking site del.icio.us. It really felt that an incredible artistic dialogue was taking place informally: a new vernacular was being formed online. There was so much energy to it. The dialogue was so exciting, mixing humour and irony, critique and celebration. Del.icio.us was the platform on which I really started working with the Internet. At this point Facebook and Tumblr have pretty much replaced it.
I had known about early net art but I was never attracted to its glitchy aesthetic. So when I discovered this community I felt like I had found what I had been searching for all through art school. Del.icio.us led me to various different collectives like Paintfx. That is the period when I started my Google Street View project.
JON RAFMANâS GOOGLE STREET VIEWS
March 7, 2011, by Jimmy Chen, A Thought Catalog
Jon Rafman is a lucky man for at least two reasons: (1) his priceless sensibility is a veil through which he sees a more beautiful world, a precious one that reaches such a state through the very aesthetic of non-preciousness; (2) he, through scouring the near infinite territory of Google street views, is statistically even able to consistently find universal moments of âcondensed beingâ which would make the greatest haiku poet weep.
Under the auspices of conventional photography, these images â a dog struggling to transgress a gate whose holes are barely larger than its own skeleton; an infant crawling alone in front of a seemingly âfakeâ Gucci store; a derelict horse gnawing away at urban detritus for food â point to a kind of surreal alienation incurred, unconsciously, by a negligent modern world. These Lynchian moments are informed by their very verity, beyond cinematic or narrative agenda generally imposed by the invoked director, or those like him. The idea of art somewhat cheapens this enterprise.
The lazy and easy answer is that God, his canvas our flesh and the space between us, is a great artist, perhaps a stunning genius so misunderstood that half the world despises him. This is a lesson in entropy, the soft arbitrariness of life, that when finally punctured by a sudden moment, oozes meaning. And yes, our friends at Google may have something to do with this, but their voice is muted, neutral, and merely incidental. Their camera is blind, even glib, in their profit-fueled survey of the known world. And God has yet to sign the gallery consignment, so this leaves us with you, me, and dear Jon, polishing these turds of absurdities into shiny diamonds.
ART REVEALING JON RAFMAN
July 08, 2010, by Lindsay Howard, Bomblog
Netartist Jon Rafmanâs Kool-Aid Man avatar is one of his primary characters, taking appointments and leading tours through Second Life worlds both utopian and fetishistic, as well as starring in still images and films directed by Rafman himself, which humorously contrast the avatarâs round red body with the super-sexy alter egos more commonly seen in Second Life. He speaks with Lindsay Howard about his work. Featuring an original Kool Aid Man in Second Life video!
People make crush art about you all the time, donât they?â Thatâs the first question I asked Jon Rafman one month ago after he discovered I was embarking upon an ongoing multi-media performance inspired by his work. Our conversation provided my first hint into Rafmanâs process. He wanted to know what Iâd done between the time I left work and the time I arrived at home, the name of the office building, where my roommate was born, the details of my relationship to certain net artists, and a host of other very specific questions which I later saw as part of his process for, and reverence toward, the construction of oneâs personal narrative. The truth, though he wouldnât admit it, is that Jon Rafman is one of the net art communityâs most respected and beloved figures. This prestige, it seems to me, relates to his ability to position himself in shamanistic roles, as director, storyteller, and tour guide, as the middle man exploring essential concepts of modernity/contemporary experience, and then processing and framing them into narratives. His work is concerned with virtual worlds, self-identity, and the collapse of high/low art. He is the artist/curator behind Googlestreetviews.com and the cartoonish internet flÃ¢neur directing tours through Second Life as Koolaidmaninsecondlife.com.
NINE EYES BY JON RAFMAN
August 6th 2012
Jon Rafman, a Montreal-based artist, started 9-eyes.com in 2009 and since then heâs been adding candid snapshots of everyday life on the roads to his Google Street View collection.
Nine Eyes, a reference to the nine camera lenses mounted on Google Street View van, shows that Google has been capturing more than just street views for the past several years. Google Street View presents a universe observed by the detached gaze of an indifferent Being, in Rafmanâs words.
THE NINE EYES OF GOOGLE STREET VIEW
August 2012, by Regine
The Nine Eyes of Google Street View, is worth the trip to King's Road.
The nine eyes are the cameras mounted on the pole on top of each vehicle that Google sent around the world 5 years ago. The technology of Google Street View has sparkled moments of deep humiliation, interest from the press photography community, privacy concerns and brilliant artistic reactions.
Jon Rafman was one of the first artists who spent hours looking at the images collected by the cars and searching not just for the amusing, the ridiculous and the fortuitous but also for postcard perfect moments. And does he have an eye for stunning images...