Persuasion Lab (ad.watch) - Finissage
The artistic duo Nayantara Ranganathan from India and Manuel Beltrán from Spain take a provocative statement with their project ad.watch -
"Political subjectivities are manufactured, commodified, and on sale. What happens to political participation now?”
The Persuasion Lab provides an infrastructure to interrogate the workings of political advertisements on FACEBOOK Inc.
The lab runs and maintains a many-tentacled machine that collects political advertising data and feeds it to units that process this data under different conditions to offer varying degrees of engagement with the phenomenon of political advertising.
Using narratives about the climate as a touchstone in its first chapter, the Persuasion Lab invites you to investigate how corporate infrastructures of marketing are shaping public opinion and political agendas. Participants can also bring their own data sample and test which narratives they are subject to, as well as which narratives they are excluded from seeing.
From people mobilizing for action about the climate crisis to companies selling “green investments,” landing a space in people’s newsfeeds has become indispensable for both people selling ideas as well as people selling products. Narratives about an issue like the climate are exemplary in allowing us to witness the blurring of lines between politics and commerce. The Lab creates an infrastructure in space through which the action of collecting political advertisement data from a hostile entity, as well as the revelations and silences of this data is made legible through narratives about the climate.