Related Resources

Hindsight is Always 20/20

Instructional Resource

In Hindsight is Always 20/20, Luke DuBois took the State of the Union addresses from each presidency (up through George W. Bush) and sorted them according to word frequency. The artist then printed the most frequently appearing works as an eye chart for each president, with the more frequently used words in larger type at the top of the chart and the less frequently used words toward the bottom. The traditional eye chart includes sixty-six letters; Luke DuBois’s charts substitute sixty-six words. The lists contain words that are not only important for the issues addressed by each president but also give an impression of how language was used at the time. Each of the forty-one presidencies to have State of the Union addresses at the time DuBois created this series (William Henry Harrison and James Garfield died before they could submit a single message to Congress) has its own eye chart. 

Multiplicity, 2011