JON RAFMAN is wearing the Gio No. 008. He is an artist living in Los Angeles.
What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Usually, I'm awoken by the sound of my baby crying. I bring her into the Bitcoin mining rig room I set up in my basement, where the warm air and hum of the fans soothe her. I'm kidding. That's my nightmare. I actually go for a stroll in Altadena. First, we stop by my neighbor's house and feed their Donkeys while an escaped family fly overhead. The mommy and daddy parrots are teaching their young where to find all the tasty fruit trees around town.
What is the last thing you do at night?
I log out of crypto-voxels and say goodnight to my employees in second life (I run a chain of medieval taverns). I'm joking. That's also my nightmare. Instead, my wife, baby, and I watch the sunset over the San Gabriel Mountains. Then, we stroll through our garden, checking how our papaya tree and dragonfruit are doing. Then I perform an improvised puppet show before we put our baby to sleep.
What do you collect?
Belush war rugs and not Funko pops as the rumor holds.
What is the best cult classic?
The short 1992 anime Midori by Hiroshi Harada is based on the manga Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show by Suehiro Maruo. And Rat Boy Genius's youtube account.
What stands the test of time?
Microplastics and Rat Boy Genius.
What takes you to cloud 9?
No scope headshots (metaphorically speaking).
Where would you find your doppelgänger?
I already have, and his name is Edward Snowden.
What is most difficult to find in contemporary culture?
1) Nuance, 2) writing that critically reflects the horror of existence, and 3) I hate to say it, but my vape.
What do you find most exciting in contemporary culture?
Fan culture has surpassed the original source material it is inspired by. I would prefer to read Star Wars fan fiction than watch Star Wars movies. The work by fans now has more vitality and relevance than the Ur text it derives from. For example, I discovered a subculture of furry Jedis obsessed with gabber and socialist realism.
What is dear to your heart?
My mother, my daughter, my wife.
Where do you want to go?
It's not the destination; it's the journey. But if I had to choose: 35°53'21.10" N 117°40'13.58" W
What is a rule that should never be broken?
"That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow! That is the whole Torah; the rest is interpretation" is attributed to Rabbi Hillel the Elder, an influential Jewish leader and scholar who lived during the final decades before the common era.
The story behind the quote revolves around a non-Jewish man who approached two great Jewish scholars, Shammai and Hillel, with a challenge. He asked each of them to teach him the entire Torah while standing on one foot, seemingly an impossible request meant to ridicule the complexity and depth of Jewish teachings.
When the man approached Shammai with his request, he rebuked him and dismissed the request as unserious. However, when the man came to Hillel with the same challenge, Hillel responded with the quote in question. By summarizing the essence of the Torah in one golden rule, Hillel demonstrated the core principle of Jewish ethics.
What is a rule that should always be broken?
That only that which has been is possible.
What is your favorite candy?
Big League Chew, mainly for the original 1980s commercial. (Also, Todd Field, the inventor of Big League Chew, also directed Tár with Cate Blanchett).
What thoughts currently occupy you?
My next project, a fictional sci-fi fantasy world I'm developing with musician James Ferraro. The world will be used to create a Codex, an immersive video installation, and a video game. It is loosely inspired by the Planescape D&D universe, Boscian purgatory, point-and-click adventure games, and Shenmue (the pioneering open-world video game on the Sega Dreamcast).
What is your favorite animal?
Crypto-zoological creatures known as Mogwais, mainly because they remind me of my baby.
What do you still wish to learn?
Too many things to list…When you lose the desire to learn you stop really living.
What is still a mystery?
I'm trying to maintain the mystery. It's becoming harder and harder.
What do you find humorous?
What is your favorite slogan?
Rarely has reality needed so much to be imagined.
Can you recall a dream?
All I want is a dreamless sleep.
Do you have a soundtrack to your life?
White noise and brown noise and blue noise. Sometimes pink noise.
What should we listen to?
Lectures by Dr. Michael Sugrue.
What does progression mean to you?
To paraphrase Trotsky "sometimes you need a revolution just to conserve the Culture."
What was your last download?
Photograph of my childhood parrot, Iago, who will likely outlive me.