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Archive for Sunday, September 30, 2012

Arts Center exhibit gives presidents’ speeches an eye test

September 30, 2012

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An upcoming exhibition at the Lawrence Arts Center, timed to coincide with this fall’s presidential election, combines eye charts and past presidents’ words.

“Hindsight is Always 20/20,” by R. Luke DuBois, examines the history of American political discourse through the metaphor of vision, according to an Arts Center description. DuBois drew from texts of each United States president’s State of the Union address, using words to create an eye chart for each. Instead of the usual eye-chart letters, words from the speeches are presented in order of most frequent (top line) to least frequent (at the bottom).

The result, the Arts Center’s announcement says, is a “startlingly clear snapshot of the lexicon of each presidency, containing a mix of historically topical keywords and rhetoric unique to each president and the time period in which he served in the office.”

The exhibit opens Friday at the Arts Center, 940 N.H., and runs through Nov. 24. An INSIGHT Art Talk is planned for 7 p.m. Oct. 18, and a lunchtime gallery discussion is planned for noon Oct. 19.

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