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The Art of Persuasion | by gabeisbored
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The Art of Persuasion

The Art of Persuasion




I created the work above to explore the way people persuade one another. Using the 2008 presidential election as a framework, I invited friends, acquaintances and buddies ("pitchers") via online social networks (IM, Facebook) to convince ("pitch") my ostensibly open mind.


The question: "Who should I vote for and why?"


To be fair, my mind was in fact not made up when this project started. However, the purpose of gathering these pitches was to create a piece of art.


The identities of the pitchers are intentionally hidden. This is not an indictment of anyone's views, nor is it intended to make public an apparently private conversation. I respect the opinions behind each pitch given to me, and intend the focus of this piece to be the content of the pitches (and the implications therein), not the identities of the people who gave them.




The most significant aesthetic quality of this work is the variance in size of the typography. Pitches given by people with whom I socially interact more frequently are shown is a larger font size. Those less frequent are shown in smaller size. The range in point size is 6 pt — 44 pt. The typeface is American Typewriter.




An interesting and unexpected trend illustrated in this work is shown in the proportion of the length and tone of the pitch to my frequency of social interaction with the pitcher. Almost invariably, people I interact with many times a week gave short, humorous suggestions, averaging only 12 words each. At the other end of the spectrum, those I have talked to only once within the last six months gave responses that averaged over 300 words and were fact-filled and earnest.


It's my guess that people with whom I interact frequently know me better than those I speak with less often. Those who know me well assume, based on prior conversations, that I follow politics and issues closely enough to form opinions and that this prompt was just a curiosity. Those who may not know me as well felt more compelled to make a convincing and logical argument that could actually sway my vote.




Not sayin'. :)

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Taken on November 25, 2008