Academy, one minute blockbusters

Academy, R. Luke DuBois

With Academy a video installation presented at bitform gallery in New York, R. Luke DuBois carries on his research about the construction of pop-cultural ephemera and its inherent temporal value structure. DuBois is in fact a composer, programmer and video artist interested in algorithmic and procedural methods for generating work that explores how people evaluate time and the idea of canon and historical progress in popular culture. Academy arrays algorithmically determined visual averages of all the past Academy Award “Best Picture” winners since 1927. The aim is to explore the temporal, formal, and aestethic progression of the first seventy-five years of the Academy awards by taking each film and compressing sound and picture into a single minute. Specifically the piece attempts to question issues of film canon by presenting the Academy winners in chronological order in a highly condensed timeframe. The result is a 75 minutes film that includes the reduced version, for example, of ‘Wings’ (1927), ‘Gone With the Wind’ (1939), ‘From Here to the Eternity’ (1953), ‘West Side Story’ (1961), ‘Amadeus’ (1984), Titanic spot (1997), all viewable on the website. Repeat viewing of the entire piece allows the viewer not only to see cinematic history unfolding, but also to see formal tropes in cinematography, editing, and music direction exposed through the massive acceleration of temporal scale employed by the piece.

Valentina Culatti