For the past 13 weeks, Briana and I have been working towards a media arts project that encompasses the concept of futures through language. We wanted to look at the emergence of the newly found technological language of emojis and how this has affected the way we communicate on daily bases.
Our project started out as a recreation of Nastya Ptichek‘s work, who created a five-part series crossing the digital with classical stylings of art. This became the centerpiece of our final project, as her work incorporated emojis. However, continuing on this path meant that we were losing sight of our initial question that we wanted to ask our audience.
We wanted our project to reflect the question “how we communicate with one another?” through the use of technology, specifically the emoji language and how that has affected how we communicate now. This concept then became heavily influenced by McLuhan’s ‘the medium is the message’:
“This is merely to say that the personal and social consequences of any medium – that is, of any extension of ourselves – result from the new scale that is introduced into our affairs by each extension of ourselves, or by any new technology.” ~McLuhan
We looked at different ways to make this work and found video was our best bet, as it allowed us to capture every detail. After we had decided we wanted to create a video, we hit a creative wall. We didn’t know where to take the project or what type of communication to explore. However, after discussing our ideas with Jo we realised we wanted to explore everyday situations that may occur and incorporate emojis into that type of speech.
We started out by looking at our own messaged and tried to convert them into emoji form, however, found that they had on “plot” line or any engaging component that would keep the audience engaged with our piece. From here we decided to look at a popular sitcom Friends, as our first form of experimentation.
We looked at one of the most commonly known episodes and attempted to translate it into emoji form. Then with our best acting skills, we filmed the newly form script and edited it together with the original lines as subtitles. To be honest, Briana and I were not pleased with what we created but needed a stepping stone to move forward with. However, to our surprise, we were told that our acting alongside the translations worked really well and kept the audience engaged, as they tried to decipher what was going on.
Our project took on multiple iterations, some good and some that we were not proud of, stirring off the main path we wanted to go and blurring our main question. However, I think our final piece encompasses what we wanted to achieve in an unexpected way. We looked at a situation we were familiar with, retail, and looked at the type of conversations that are typically had in that environment, between employees and between customers and employees, creating the sense of confusion a little more within that typical environment.
All in all, I think our project effectively illustrates our main questions of how we communicate with each other in a very abstract way. However, I do believe with a little more time and more research into types of conversations we could expand the work to use a variety of conversations types as well as improvising our own conversations to make it look more genuine.