SITUATION #105: Jon Rafman, Still Life (Betamale), 2013


Fotomuseum Winterthur

Still Life (Betamale), video still, HD-video, 4:54 min, 2013 © Jon Rafman

Still Life (Betamale) portrays a journey through the most obsessive behaviours of the internet age. It force-feeds us the endless distribution and consumption of images that populate our monitors, and a disturbing series of computer stations and filthy keyboards that show the signs of lives never separated from the screen. Appropriating images from the less regulated corners of the internet, Jon Rafman explores recent visual cultures and our unhealthy relationship with binge-watching drives and online voyeuristic activities.

As seen through the eyes of a prototypical online forum user, the video takes us through a number of clips of 'furry’ subcultures, nostalgic video game graphics and fetish anime scenes. In their bulimic devouring, these representations show us the inner mechanics of the wildest searches for meaning, irrational and never-ending; but also our latent desires teased and amplified, and the failure-induced repetition that leaves us hopeless victims of the stream of screen-images. Still Life (Betamale) was initially posted on 4chan, one of the internet communities that inspired its theme, in an act that closes the loop with its source, and invites the internet audience to join the discussion and reflection on the ways we share and consume information.

More by Jon Rafman:

A cooperation with the Link Art Center.

Kindly supported by Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne.

Cluster: Post Fail