Opening Reception: 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Thurs Jan 13
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
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.