Explaining The Ringling’s “R. Luke Dubois — Now” exhibit with any combination of words wouldn’t properly align one’s expectations. The Ringling members presented in this photo gallery from the member opening Jan. 30, would probably agree.
The exhibit of New York-based R. Luke Dubois is the first ever survey of his work. He’s an interdisciplinary artist that explores society and its culture using film, composition, printmaking and performance to name a few. For instance, the compositions are less for enjoyment and more for portraying a message about a particular subject. One experience combines 857 Billboard Top 100 songs into one 37-minute song by compressing each song and taking its average tonality. One series features a print for every President of the United States’ State of the Union address that showcases the words he used most to the words he used least in the same layout of a vision test chart.
Much of his work uses algorithms, data mining or other purposeful technology he created to look at society. For instance, he created a map of the United States using 19 million online dating profiles (he joined 21 online dating sites for this project) to measure keywords of towns and cities.
In certain aspects, he’s as much a sociologist and scientist as an artist in the way his work encourages critical thinking about society. Although, his interactive commission looking at Sarasota’s circus culture presents a more approachable look at our own society in an interactive video exhibit featuring Circus Sarasota performers.
If your curiosity is piqued, you can see the exhibit through May 4, 2014 at the Ringling Museum of Art, 5401 Bayshore Road. Admission is $25 and $10 after 5 p.m. on Thursdays. Visit Ringling.org for more information.