R. Luke DuBois – Insightful Human Portraits Made from Nature (VIDEO)

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Self-portrait, 1993-2014 is a data visualization work on paper that pictures a force-directed graph of DuBois’ email since 1993. / R. Luke DuBois


R. Luke DuBois weaves information from a multitude of sources into art and music exploring the tensions between algorithms, portraiture and temporal space.


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R. Luke DuBois

Artist R. Luke DuBois makes unique portraits of presidents, cities, himself and even Britney Spears using data and personality. In this talk, he shares nine projects — from maps of the country built using information taken from millions of dating profiles to a gun that fires a blank every time a shooting is reported in New Orleans. His point: the way we use technology reflects on us and our culture, and we reduce others to data points at our own peril.

Why you should listen

R. Luke DuBois is a multidisciplinary artist mining the intersection of art, culture and technology, often expanding or contracting perspectives or timespans to accentuate aspects of each work. As a musician, he has produced a spectrum of electro-acoustic works with a multitude of artists, including Bora Yoon, Bang on a Can and the Freight Elevator Quartet.

As an artist, DuBois focuses on exposing the long narratives created by arcs of data, in the same way that time-lapse photographs expose long swaths of motion in a single image. As a programmer, DuBois is co-author of Jitter, a software suite that allows real-time manipulation of video and 3D imagery.

DuBois teaches at New York University, where he co-directs the Integrated Digital Media program at the Tandon School of Engineering. His artwork is represented by bitforms gallery in New York City.

What others say

“DuBois is notable not only for his proficiency with digital technology, but also for his thoughtful layering of meanings relating to both the subjects in such works and the media used to produce them.” — Artspace, Feb. 7, 2014

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