Luke DuBois Exhibition: The Implication of Words

I believe that the main intent of DuBois’ work was to really make us think not only about the connections between us, but the nature in which words can describe and categorize us. Both in terms of history and culture throughout a region, words are able to define us and give a way of viewing ourselves in condensed form. For instance, his word cloud piece using transcriptions of State of the Union Addresses. This piece is capable of showing our nation, its troubles and triumphs, all in one snapshot over its entirety of existence. All they are were words spoken in repetition, but in repetition those words turned to meaning.

By using a mixture of computer-generated images and physical interactions between himself and his pieces, he appears to seek to bridge a gap between this mindless data and the artistic and social implications within it. In his network map of sent and received email correspondence, he could very well have had the program print out the names of the individuals in the communication for him. But the simple act of writing out the names himself helps to bridge these images with a more human implication within them. We see the connections not as just computer-made nodes, but as real people caught within real conversations.

Personally, my favorite visualization would probably have to be his film piece in which he condenses all Best Picture winners since 1927 into a single film by calculating the average shot usage and average pitch usages. This makes for an almost ephemeral experience when viewing the piece. In the same instant that we are confused about the images and noises flashing in front of us, we are also constantly digesting this information and trying to find things within it. I couldn’t help but try to deduce the films being displayed even though there was no use behind it. But even so, making that conclusion was something my mind wanted to do.