This is an excerpt from ReConstitution 2008, a performance series by Sosolimited. All three presidential debates were remixed live, as they happened, for theatre audiences. The first debate remix took place at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. This is footage from a DV cam in the back row, and that is why it sounds canned.

In this segment, the software keeps counts of every word uttered by the candidates. The words are organized from most used at the bottom, to least used at the top. Obama's words are on the left, McCain's on the right. Only the current speaker's words are shown.

The larger the word, the more times it was spoken. Every once in a while, tiny words — like "the" and "a"—are removed or added back into the stack. Keywords are highlighted in their topic colors and tagged with usage counts.

reconstitution2008.com

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