R. Luke DuBois is a multidisciplinary artist that treads the fine line between art, culture and technology, he reveals human stories hidden in data. In 2010 he started out on a journey that would lead him to the maps you see below.
DuBois collected data by creating profiles on 21 different online dating sites and services, across every zip code in the US. This gave him access to some 19 million dating profiles to dissect the words they used to describe themselves.
The project is called “A More Perfect Union,” and below are the results for NYC!
The word for NYC is “NOW.” In DuBois words:
“That’s not only impatience — it’s also, ‘Now, I’m working as a waiter, but really I’m an actor.'”
Looking a little closer we can explore Manhattan:
“In Chelsea, in Midtown Manhattan, the words are “modern,” “creatives” and “aesthetics,” because that’s where a lot of art galleries are. If you look downtown near Washington Square Park, you’ve got “voice” — as in “Village Voice.” Sometimes, though, the words don’t really make sense. You’ve got words like “cowardice,” “combustible” and “insubordinate” — they just pop up because more than one person in that zip code used that word in their profile.”
DuBois calls Brooklyn one of the “more interesting maps”. The Brooklyn data exposes the “hipster” culture that has ingrained itself in the area. We see the music genre “Electro”, words like “Graffiti”, “Cinematography”, “hipsters”, and “writing”.
Check out R. Luke DuBois‘ ted talk on this study here:
Featured image source [ideas.ted]