Felipe Francois

2012 distribution

Each individual in our group is analyzing a specific election and using our own methods for spatial history, data mining and analysis, textual analysis, and visual and aural artifacts. This is because we are each covering unique elections in which the technology available varied significantly from the 1960s until modern times.

I plan to use data mining and analysis to construct my argument of the correlation between debates and outcome of the election in determining the winner. This includes statistical analysis of polling data before and after debates, along with graphs to support data. For visual artifacts, I will use videos from research organizations that were done on the same topic with more in-depth and conclusive research to help support our argument. Some of our aural artifacts will be YouTube clips of voters’ responses. There are also interactive maps from one of CNN’s own John King segments, but I’m not sure if I would be able to embed a working map into our website. These maps will be used to show turning points in the election before and after debates as a result of voter response to candidates. I will use textual analysis through newspaper articles from various prominent sources such as The New York Times and Huffington Post. We will also analyze debate transcripts through Wordle to see what words were frequently used, which might tell us what the important issues were for voters during the election.

Robert Sorenson

1992 distribution

To show important aspects of the 1992 presidential debates, and how they affect voting tendencies, I plan on using several methods to fulfill the requirements related to the assignment. Visual artifacts will be used, using images of each of the debates and images of particular moments that affected the viewers. Examples would be Bush’s infamous time check, Clinton becoming close and personal with his audience in a town hall debate format, and the layout of each debate. As this is visual, the aural aspect will be similar. I will embed videos that show important times of the debates, such as Perot’s humorous one liners that grabbed national attention, and attacks by Bush and Clinton on each other.These images and moments are iconic of the 92 debate and surely affected voters. I will show how this affected voters by using statistical numbers collected by CNN which polled voters after each debate and asked who they thought won each debate. This data will be used to create a graph of each, which is an analyzing tool. I have examined the transcripts of the first debate and inserted it into wordle, a means of textual analysis, wordle can show us what important themes were present for the debates. These themes are important because they relate to the viewers and a correlation can be made from the individual words and phrases used by each candidate and how it affected voters opinions. Certain words such as “money”, “economy”, and “country” are important to the public, especially since going into the ‘92 debate the economy was in the doldrums. This background info has helped me understand why Perot was such a contender because of his sharp business record. Interviews directly following each debate with random undecided voters gives an important insight into their opinions of the debate. I am using PBS interviews with people that are undecided, there are teachers, college students and manufacture workers that share their feelings towards each debate. As i analyze these interviews i can create an argument that tells an important story as to what issues touches them, and how it will affect their voting tendencies. Candidates who empathize job creation will certainly grab the attention of jobless voters (such as Clinton attacking Bush for the jobless rate at the time). Voters who are more concerned with the economic condition of our country will be intrigued by what Perot has to say because it was the underlying theme of his campaign. These are all aspects that influence voters on election day. Using these interview transcripts are an example of textual analysis.

Jordan Smith

1960 Distribution

Seeing as the debates of 1960 were the very first Presidential Debates ever to be televised, the general opinions and reactions of voters were extremely varied and possibly naive due to the initial shock of actually being able to see the candidates argue one on one. The visual nature of these debates played a massive role in the representation and coverage of each candidate throughout the media, and more importantly, in the eyes of the voters. Within my analysis of these debates I will focus largely on visual components to supplement my argument, such as actual footage of the debates, what pictures were printed in the newspapers of the time, and video/photographs taken on each campaign trail. The method of what is now modern campaigning, a process highly reliant on striking visual rhetoric, was born in the broadcast of the 1960 debates and I plan on bringing that spirit into my work.

The platforms for which voters could publicly voice their opinions regarding their perspective on the Presidential Debates of 1960 were very limited compared to those of 2012, and 1992 to a lesser degree. National polls, television interviews, newspaper editorials and letters will be my main source of primary textual evidence of the voters opinions. I am exploring the potential of Wordle in bringing some of the key themes to the surface, however, I am interested in finding a software in which I can find more complex strings or phrases within the testimonials of voters. As the primary voter opinion in 1960 is not as prevalent for examination compared to that of the other elections our group is studying, I will need to take the information I do have and apply different methods of analysis so as to extract the core of each message.


After my initial assessment of the project and testing different songs in my own mind, and through the sampler, I realized the true purpose of combining two very seemingly different musical styles. Even when just examining the final product on the surface, I found that beyond the style produced there was a real historical statement being made. Music, while defined mainly by geographical and ethnic boundaries, is universally a collective human enterprise. While the songs I chose were only produced a few years apart from each other, the same project could be executed with Johnny Cash and Bach, Tom Jones and Wu-Tang, or even Bruce Springsteen and Philip Glass. Again, on the surface a musical and stylistic statement is being made, but when examined under a microscope a true human argument is posed to challenge how geographical and ethnic boundaries separate how we classify human expression.

This same process could be applied to any number of comparative analyses. The surest method of learning about two perceived ideological opponents is to first combine them and catalog their similarities. For instance, when the process is applied to political competitors, such as in the recent Presidential Race, you could compare the rhetoric of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in speeches and analyze just how similar on paper they may appear. While many will surely object to and immediately refute any minute possibility of their political enemy sharing ideals, you must first observe the situation from a birds-eye view, operate beyond your own bias. That is what this process truly achieves in teaching the observer, to drop your guard and construct an honest argument around the truth.

Although in the past I have often used this style and process to achieve what I wanted musically, I have found a deeper meaning in applying the method to all aspects of my life. Similarities lie in the most unexpected places, and the differences that once set people and ideas apart will ultimately bring them together.


The assignment I have chosen to take on is Forced Collabo, in which you must construct a new song combining artists you may never have thought to work together. This assignment struck me because of its potential for some really interesting results. You get the opportunity not only to rewrite history but to create a new story in which you are the author. With all of this in mind, I came to the conclusion that I would mix “By the Time I Get To Arizona” by Public Enemy with “Cybele’s Reverie” by Stereolab. While both of these groups operated during the same period, early 1990’s, they clearly come from two very different worlds, sonically and physically.

The hardware I am using to create my project is a Roland SP-404sx sampler recording into Logic Express. With the sampler I am able to assign different sections of each song to a specific pad and then play, edit, and record all in real-time.

Roland SP-404sx

I believe that through this process of combining separate elements of music, whether seemingly opposed, can prove telling about the nature of music itself and how people relate to sounds throughout the world. Technology such as the sampler has given musicians a tool in which they can create new music by breathing life into the work of others, sometimes long forgotten soul 45’s and maybe other times top 40. In either instance, the sampler, since its inception, has served as the greatest force against exploitative copyright law and continues to leave music in the hands of its rightful owner, the musician.

270 to Win! [entry-title]



This screenshot of a map comes from the political forecast website 270 to Win.
While the map that I’ve included strongly presents the proposed electoral votes for each candidate in the upcoming Presidential election, the most powerful tool within the website is its option to filter through past years election, as well as a host of other interesting map options. The website provides a comprehensive look at the elections now, and past, by utilizing simple graphics which display a world of multi-dimensional data.


Within this map shows the data for the leading Countries in respect to the amount of television sets that their people own. A tool such as this is invaluable to what our group, Instigators, needs to display the data we will utilize to tell the impact of the debates on swing state voters.

Being able to visualize exactly the impact of the debates will add depth to the information, and in return give the audience a more nuanced expression of what we are presenting. This tool will play an extremely vital role in our process as we now have the ability to present multi-dimensional data to tell our story.


1. JSTOR – Spin (and Pitch) Doctors

2. The New York Times – Politics

3. 270 To Win – Electoral Analysis

4. Twitter – #Debates


Being in the midst of the debates, as we are today, it would be hard to read through any newspaper or watch the nightly news without hearing of the Presidential and Vice-Presidential debates. Pundits and analysts are quick to jump on every word, interruption, and perceived mistake in order to determine who “won.” With this in mind, our group The Instigators, aim to analyze all possible information in order to see if the debates truly make a difference. Many believe that at this point in the campaign cycle, most voters have already decided well in advance who they plan on voting for; however, for those still on the fence, could the debates truly sway them in either direction?


Given these circumstances, data mining will serve as an invaluable tool in the examination of the countless information released in response to the debates. Finding the correlations between live-real-time reactions from online sources such as Twitter, Facebook, and various RSS feeds, will shed light on the question of voter-impact. It is imperative to approach this question on importance of the debates from many different angles, in order to provide a more nuanced response to a complex question. While many individual sources will claim to provide their own idea of the “winner” of each debate, the general data that will be received by our group may in fact not be as simple as yes/no, Democrat/Republican.


As a sub-focus, it may also be important to mine data regarding third party candidates and their lack of inclusion in all of the debates.


1968: A Time for Change? [entry-title]

“Medical evacuation of United States wounded troops” Image Copyright The Art Archive, Dept Defence Washington


I was able to locate this image through the Art Museum Image Gallery database. The photograph was taken 15 miles south west of Da Nang, Vietnam, on March 17, 1968, by an anonymous source. During this year the conflict in Vietnam seemed to reach a boiling point, with the highest casualty rate seen yet, sky-rocketing defense budgets, and the launch of the Tet Offensive by the Vietcong. The Vietnam War was undoubtedly on the minds of every voter in 1968.


“The All-Purpose Political Speech, 1968” – Copyright New York Times Company Jun 9, 1968, ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008)



The All-Purpose Political Speech shows how the game of politics was played in the 1968 election. Not much has changed since this time in our own modern political system, however, the article provides much meaningful insight into the minds of political analysts during the 1968 election.


“Planet Of The Apes [1968]” – Copyright 20th CENTURY FOX/The Kobal Collection

This screenshot from the 1968 film Planet of the Apes was located within the Cinema Image Gallery database. Now while you may be wondering, and rightfully so, how this film could possibly tie in to the 1968 Presidential Elections, it may help to take a more examined view of the plot of the film. In a society where humans are helpless against the tyrannical bureaucracy of a ruling elite, apes to be exact, the lower caste must rise above and assert their right to a meaningful existence. Given the context of the 1960’s in America, the role of the humans in the film certainly reflects many of the sentiments echoed through the emerging “anti-establishment” viewpoints of the youth in America.




Upon first entering DS106 I was immediately struck by its header, which read, “Digital Storytelling – We Jam Econo.” We Jam Econo is the name of a 2005 documentary which tells the story of seminal California-punk band The Minutemen. The band operated on a streamlined, “by any means necesary”, economic system. This system reflected heavily on their insistence on playing affordable shows, as well as releasing their music at a fair price. Ds106 certainly reflects the same sentiments through its open source approach to real, honest online participation.

It seems evident that the community believes strongly in their right to operate and create material within the context of a more “free” internet. As participants in the never-ending experiment of the World Wide Web, DS106 seems to prove, alongside countless other contemporaries, that “another internet is possible.” The most impressive display of the importance of the site lies beyond the walls of the initial assignments page, Mission: DS106. After exploring each tab, I was most interested in the work being done through the audio, visual, and mash-up assignments. Where many classes might stay clear of any possible grey-area regarding copyright, DS106 does not allow any roadblocks on their path to honest digital storytelling.