Artist R Luke DuBois’ Eye-Opening Data Portraits

At this year’s TED conference, artist R Luke DuBois shared with the audience a few of his latest works. While he doesn’t paint, draw or take photos, DuBois can weave together incredibly complex portraits of his subjects through unconventional applications of programming and code. In one project, he downloads millions of dating profiles to map out the way people speak about themselves across the country. In another, he calibrates a pistol to fire a blank each time a shooting is reported to the Louisiana police. His eye-opening portraits reveal a heavy truth: “when data visualization is done right it can be illuminating; done wrong, it can be anesthetizing.”