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Art Installation on America’s Dating Trends

Fri, Feb 4, 2011

Pop Culture

If you’ve ever used online personals, you’ll love this: Through February 19th, Bit Gallery in New York City is showing R. Luke DuBois’s latest project, “A More Perfect Union,” which 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.” There are three elements to the work:

  1. City’s dating identities: “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.”
  2. The United States of Dating Emotions: “[M]aps of the entire country are colored in a ‘red-state/blue-state’ pattern,¬† showing how different adjectives (kinky, shy, funny, lonely) are spread across the country among women and men.”
  3. The quintessential profile picture: “‘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.”

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