Instagram Is Having a Ball at Jon Rafman's Playground in Amsterdam

Jon Rafman

Inside "I have ten thousand compound eyes and each is named suffering" by Jon Rafman at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Photo by @gemcopeland.

Like Pharrell before him, Jon Rafman is the latest to discover just how well the city of Amsterdam lends itself to hosting adult playgrounds. Last month, the Canadian artist and filmmaker chose the Stedelijk Museum for his awfully comfortable launching pad, filling three of its galleries with not only swings and a ball pit, but also eerie blue light, numerous screens, and virtual reality headsets. (Nothing to make the millennials feel at home like technology!)

Up until August, and named "I have ten thousand compound eyes and each is named suffering" after a film Rafman made last year, the show's a continuation of Rafman's longtime fascination with the social and behavioral effects of digital media. With the help of Oculus Rift, the VR pioneer he's been in the talks with for a year now, the videos at the Stedelijk go even further with his look into 3D online communities like Second Life, complete with realistic scenarios like driving or camping that are as strangely soothing as they are quotidian. Still, as Instagrammers are proving, you hardly have to slip on a bulky headset for the show to be immersive – all it takes is a step into the ball pit.

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