Mental journey

Jon Rafman – Unknown Road, Volgograd, Volgograd Oblast, Russia

Jon Rafman, Unknown Road, Volgograd, Volgograd Oblast, Russia, 2013, from the series Nine Eyes of Google Street View, archival pigment print, 101 x 163 cm, Courtesy of the artist & Sprüth Magers, © Jon Rafman

Nine eyes that have been almost everywhere in the world. Nine eyes that capture moments and yet are free of any personal motivation. These nine eyes belong to the cameras of the Google Street View cars, the aim of which is to make the world digitally explorable. In the series Nine Eyes of Google Street View, which has been running since 2008, Jon Rafman scans the countless views and publishes screenshots of funny, curious, often disturbing, or even illegal scenes on

Rafman evaluates the shots and turns them into art. The viewer develops the stories around the scenes. What happened before the snapshot, what happens next? Who are the people? The boundaries between the real, the digital, and the fictitious blur. While Rafman physically remains in one place, he virtually explores the whole world and still only gets a notion of what may have been happening there at the time of the shot and has now long passed.