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R. Luke DuBois: A More Perfect Union

January 11, 2011


A More Perfect Union by R. Luke DuBois, currently exhibited at bitforms gallery, 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.