The exhibition The Choice Is Yours at bitforms Gallery in New York presents a new body of work by R. Luke DuBois. For his fourth solo show at the gallery, DuBois questions individual agency, from the choices we make in our daily lives to those that constitute the “world’s greatest democracy.” Repurposing and building upon mid-twentieth century voting machines, DuBois pairs typically innocuous words as oppositional choices, a gesture underscoring the lack of choice we feel when presented with reductive binaries.
The Choice Is Yours consists of a series of mechanical voting machines from the forties, fifties, and sixties, manufactured by the Automatic Voting Machine (AVM) Corporation in Jamestown, New York. In the exhibition, these machines are transformed into Learning Machines, a play on the concept of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI), the premise of which is that computers––given the correct parameters and data––can simulate human behavior and decision-making. The Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence, convened in the summer of 1956 and considered by many to be one of the most historically significant events in AI, dates to the same time period as the voting machines in the exhibition.
R. Luke DuBois: The Choice Is Yours / bitforms Gallery, NYC. Opening reception, October 26, 2016.
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