Human Emoticons


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Developing from emoticons facial expressions made with punctuation marks, the emoji was created in 1998 by Shigetaka Kurita, an engineer at the Japanese phone company, NTT Docomo. He was interested in customers being free to communicate emotions using icons and says he drew his emojis from manga, Chinese characters and international bathroom signs. There now exist some 1,800 emojis to choose from.

As a devoted user of emojis herself, Tscherner felt compelled to gather her friends around her and “make faces”, photographing the results as a gallery piece where everyone involved, plus an audience, would be invited to communicate, face to face, in real time, and to start a conversation about the objectification of feelings by taking a vote on which photograph corresponds correctly to which emoji.

As we are living witnesses to the very birth of this new millennial language that will inevitably become the age of the Avatar, Tscherner wants to ask: is it Good, Bad or Ugly….?


Text Natalie Press

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