Debate Breath #1

Automated removal of all words from the first 2004 presidential debate. Only breath remains. 

A highly edited version of the first presidential debate of the 2004 election. Software created to analyze the debate audio and automatically generate new debate consisting of only the silent moments. What remains is only breath, gesture, glance, tension. On viewing you notice your own investments in the simple intensities of these men, pre-political attachments. 

On watching the highly charged 2004 presidential debate, I was struck by the deeply silent moments between words and phrases. I wrote software that "listened" to the debate, looking very precicely for spans of quietness. In the 90 minute debate the software recognized over 1200 of these moments. This detailed analysis was then used to create the highly edited version of the debate, showing only these silent gaps. More than 10 minutes of the debated consisted of these silent moments.   What happens visually in these moments is fascinating. Gesture, looks and glances, shifting posture, scribbles, contorted faces. Watching the silent debate, you are faced with your own investments. The "content" is removed, but it becomes clear that the viewer has subtle attachments to little things, simple intensities. It allows the viewer to become aware of these simple pre-political attachments and how they stir emotions on their own. 

Custom software to automatically edit out all but the silences in video. Here are all the quiet parts of the first 2004 presidential debate, over 1200 silences in all. Surprisingly this 90 minute debate consists of more than 15 minutes of silence...breathing, gesture, pause. Also, even without the words, there is clearly a debate of appearances.