bitforms gallery is pleased to present a second solo exhibition with New York based artist R. Luke DuBois. Melding romance and U.S. geography, DuBois’ new project is a follow up to his Hindsight is Always 20/20, which examined vision of the American presidency.
A More Perfect Union looks at American self-identity through the medium of online dating services. Culling data from over twenty online dating sites, the work is organized according to the same heuristics as the U.S. Census, sorting dating profiles by Congressional District and subjecting the imagery and text to statistical analysis.
“Online dating forces us to engage in a vulnerable act of articulating our self-identity in a semi-public forum for the express purpose of being wanted,” says DuBois. “To read a thoughtful dating profile or view a profile photo is to view the precarious expression of someone else’s desires.”
Revealing a ‘dating lexicon’ of each state, DuBois built maps using the words provided by 16.7 million people describing themselves and those they desire. Comprised as a romantic atlas of the United States, each regional geography uses keywords from dating profiles in lieu of the city and town names.
In a second printed series, maps of the entire country are colored in a ‘red-state/blue-state’ pattern, showing how different adjectives (such as ‘shy’ and ‘lonely’) are spread across the country among women and men.
“Matching” an array of photographic images from the dating census in a video diptych, profile pictures are separated by gender and sequenced according to their Congressional District. The photos are aligned so that eyes in each portrait are centered. The faces flash by and blur, too quickly to recognize individuals, resulting in a gestalt impression of a dating pool and, by inference, American society as it presents itself as potential romantic interest.
R. Luke DuBois (b. 1975, United States) is a composer, artist, and performer who explores the temporal, verbal, and visual structures of cultural ephemera. Stemming from his investigations of “time-lapse phonography,” his recent work is a sonic and encyclopedic relative to time-lapse photography. Just as a long camera exposure fuses motion into a single image, his work reveals the average sonority, visual language, and vocabulary in music, film, text, or cultural information.His second solo exhibition with bitforms gallery opens January 2011 and marks the debut of “A More Perfect Union” which looks at American self-identity through the medium of online dating services. Melding romance, the census and U.S. geography, DuBois’ new project follows up his “Hindsight is Always 20/20”, which examined vision of the American presidency in 2008 and toured several cities. Forthcoming exhibitions include the Prospect.2 biennale in New Orleans, curated by Dan Cameron, and Transmediale in Berlin. Past exhibitions of Dubois’ work have included the Insitut Valencià d’Art Modern, Spain; 2008 Democratic National Convention, Denver; Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis; San Jose Museum of Art; National Constitution Center, Philadelphia; Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art; Scottsdale Public Art Program; Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville; No Longer Empty, New York; LMCC Swingspace, New York; Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita; Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk; University of Wisconsin Gallery, Stevens Point; Columbia College, Chicago; Quint Contemporary, La Jolla; Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul; bitforms gallery nyc; Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans; the Sundance Film Festival; and Sydney Film Festival. An active visual and musical collaborator, DuBois is the co-author of Jitter, a software suite for the real-time manipulation of matrix data. He appears on nearly twenty-five albums both individually and as part of the avant-garde electronic group The Freight Elevator Quartet. DuBois holds a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University, and teaches interactive sound and video performance at the Brooklyn Experimental Media Center at NYU’s Polytechnic Institute.