Multidisciplinary artist R. Luke DuBois shapes trillions of bytes of Akamai data into “Portrait of Life Online” NFT

Luke's work with Akamai

A new dynamic audio/visual art project by R. Luke Dubois reflects real-time changes in global internet traffic and cyberattacks, based on data drawn from cloud company Akamai Technology’s Intelligent Edge Platform, which provides a mirror of global internet activity.

BROOKLYN, New York, May 12, 2022 – Renowned multidisciplinary artist R. Luke DuBois, associate professor and director of the Integrated Design and Media program at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, in collaboration with cloud company Akamai Technologies, has created the first Non-Fungible Token (NFT) artwork dynamically fueled by the internet. Based on data drawn from the Akamai Intelligent Edge Platform, which provides a mirror of global internet activity through its 4,000 points of presence in nearly 900 cities, the NFT will visually evolve in real-time as internet traffic changes and cyberattacks launch. The auction for the NFT launched on May 11, 2022, via the Artano marketplace, with final bids due by June 24, 2022.

Akamai selected DuBois, who is skilled in translating the intersection of art, culture and technology, to interpret its vast dataset. He approached the NFT as an artwork that can be both seen and heard. By drawing from the Akamai data feed and incorporating both healthy network activity, such as traffic generated by people checking newsfeeds and streaming videos, and adversarial network activity, such as denial of service attacks on servers, phishing emails and website corruption, the artwork reflects humanity’s multifaceted online footprint.

R. Luke DuBois
R. Luke Dubois

“Interpreting what the internet means to the world — the good and the bad, its enormous scale and its endless potential — was a challenge that immediately inspired me,” said DuBois. “Working with such a uniquely rich dataset and layering in advanced AI technology, I shaped the artwork to capture the fluid nature of the internet and the humanity behind it.”

The artwork will reflect internet data from Akamai’s global platform for one year, after which it will continue to morph based on an AI prediction of what internet activity will look like over time.

“Akamai is thrilled to partner with DuBois to transform our platform data into radiant art that echoes our purpose. Behind every data point feeding the NFT are the billions of people we make life better for, billions of times a day,” said Kim Salem-Jackson, chief marketing officer, Akamai. “Luke’s illustrious career in art, music and culture is an inspiration and we are proud to encourage the next generation who will shape the future of life online, as we direct all proceeds from the sale of this NFT to support STEM education.

Akamai is making the NFT available exclusively on artist-friendly marketplace Artano, which is run on the Cardano blockchain, an environmentally sustainable blockchain that uses a proof-of-stake system, in which the capital cost comes from stakeholders holding tokens in the system, not from hardware and electricity.

All proceeds from the sale of this NFT will be donated to the Akamai Foundation, which will dedicate the funds to initiatives that support the next generation of life online by providing equal access to quality STEM education and attracting diverse talent to the technology industry. 

Find the auction on the Artano marketplace.

About R. Luke DuBois

R. Luke DuBois is a composer, artist, and performer who explores the temporal, verbal, and visual structures of cultural and personal ephemera. He holds a doctorate in music composition from Columbia University, and has lectured and taught worldwide on interactive sound and video performance. He has collaborated on interactive performance, installation, and music production work with many artists and organizations. Exhibitions of his work include: the Insitut Valencià d’Art Modern, Spain; Haus der elektronischen Künste, Switzerland; 2008 Democratic National Convention, Denver; Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis; San Jose Museum of Art; National Constitution Center, Philadelphia; Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art; Daelim Contemporary Art Museum, Seoul; 2007 Sundance Film Festival; the Sydney Film Festival; the Smithsonian American Art Museum; PROSPECT.2 New Orleans; and the Aspen Institute.


About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute. A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences as part of a global university, with close connections to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. NYU Tandon is rooted in a vibrant tradition of entrepreneurship, intellectual curiosity, and innovative solutions to humanity’s most pressing global challenges. Research at Tandon focuses on vital intersections between communications/IT, cybersecurity, and data science/AI/robotics systems and tools and critical areas of society that they influence, including emerging media, health, sustainability, and urban living. We believe diversity is integral to excellence, and are creating a vibrant, inclusive, and equitable environment for all of our students, faculty and staff. For more information, visit