library of emoji art, 2017 - ongoing
Schwenk,'tears of joy: emoji art', 2017 (GIF 31 secs with sound x 3 cycles)
Schwenk, 'schöppingen: emoji art', 2017 (GIF 13 seconds with sound x 5 cycles)

Technology isolates us even more whist all the time promising to bring us together. It connects us, but at a distance. We text instead of phoning or meeting face-to-face. Conversation has become too time consuming and personal. In this way, emoji – today’s international visual language – are important parts of our everyday lives.

emoji replace gestures and words to help us connect with each other in digital conversations while simultaneously isolating us in the analog world. In recognising this duality and the significance of emoji, I am working with cities and local communities around the world to create a ’library of emoji art’. Each ‘emoji art’ will be made paradoxically using hundreds/thousands of people that connect and communicate with each in the physical world.

Each emoji will be archived in the ‘library of emoji art’ and will be available as digital emojis and GIFs for everyday communication.

What is the ‘library of emoji art’?

The ‘library of emoji art’ is a large-scale community-oriented public art project that

will showcase the ‘emoji art’ created by cities/communities around the world, at different times and in response to different topics. Each ‘emoji art’ will be site-specific and the emoji–designed by the community via workshops–will reflect the city/community’s identity. These socially engaged performances, like emoji, will connect people and enhance communication across cultural and language divides.

As emoji are digital icons that help counter isolation and facilitate connection, each work of ‘emoji art’ created by a local community will be paired with an ‘emoji art’ performance of one of the most loved emoji of the year. This will connect individual projects with the broader community of the world.

Each volume of ‘emoji art’ will be made up of books of the drawings from workshops, archival material (radio programs, facebook pages and contributions), photographs, films and GIFs of the ‘emoji art’ performances.

The first volume in the library is ’schöppingen: emoji art’ which represents the community of Schöppingen, Germany. This was recently performed together with ‘tears of joy: emoji art’.