library of emoji art, 2017 - ongoing

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.

In recognising the significance of emoji, which replace gestures and words to help us connect with each other in digital conversations, Sylvia Schwenk is working with local communities around the world to create a library of  ‘emoji art’, each made using hundreds of human bodies.

What is the library?

The library will showcase socially engaged works of performance art created by different communities at different times and in response to different topics, under Sylvia Schwenk’s direction. These performances, like emoji, will connect people and enhance communication across cultural and language barriers.

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.

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 digital community of the world.

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

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 5cycles)