Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Currently at Ringling Museum, Sarasota..."NOW..." by R. Luke Du Bois

R. Luke Du Bois is an artist plying the contemporary edges of art, engaging in performance, musical composition, collaborative performance, large public installations, film and digital work. Think "new media". But this is only the publicity spiel. 

He is exploring the datascape that has become materia prima for contemporary artists, but is being rarely explored because the skillset required to do this is still rare among artists (as is the mindset).
The issues he addresses are not new: Semiotics, iconization, social and linguistic evolution over time, time, and other temporal associations that were previously very hard to look into.

He explores the connection between the geographies of all 50 United States linking it to the topology of the most-used words on twenty dating sites, creating a strange synthesis between the two, giving an apparent linking between different towns, cities and states. The work is titled "A More Perfect Union", and while i distills and freezes ephemera, the volume still overwhelms the senses. There is no way to take in the exhibit, unless one went every day for the month :or longer), and even then it would be much too much to take in, well beyond our physical senses in terms of complexity and volume.  

R. Luke Du Bois, "Toward a more Perfect Union"

Du Bois earned a Ph.D. music composition. This is evident at the show with many small works involving audio and digitization that introduces variations on a theme. He has been referred to as a "laptop musician".

There is a great video made up of the faces of PLAYBOY playmates adjusted for size of the first 50 years of the magazine, allowing the viewer an idea of the evolution of the desirable female look over time.

It is the kind of work that makes the viewer feel like he has crossed over into recently-discovered country.

--- Luis

Runs through May 4th, 2014. At Ringling Museum,

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