R. Luke DuBois
Prosody: WSB, 2014
High-definition single-channel generative video with sound, projection
Commissioned by the Lawrence Arts Center, Kansas
Edition of 6
Prosody: WSB is a generative video installation that DuBois developed in June for an exhibition celebrating the legacy of William S. Burroughs at the Lawrence Art Center. The project is based on a three-hour voice recording of Burroughs reading his seminal 1953 novel Junkie: Confessions of an Unredeemed Drug Addict. DuBois’ work remixes the audio in real-time according to a Markov process, whereby the words are heard out of order, following one another according to an array of linear sequences in the original text containing each word; the result resembles Burroughs’ later cut-up technique that was core to his collaboration with artist Brion Gyson. Individual words from the text flash randomly on screen, typographically stylized according to the logic of a custom prosody analysis, measuring Burrough’s vocal tempo.