Hidden Truths – Episode 1

The first episode of Hidden Truths is live! This is the first in a six-part series that explores the concepts of privacy and cyber surveillance and how it has been portrayed in pop culture.


Week 9: Iterate and Collaborate

After breaking down the suggestions made last week by Matt, Jo and the class, Briana and I decided to try a few different experiments to further establish what was working, what wasn’t working and what we could possibly blend together for our major work.

This week we played with the idea of having a narrative, we look at various different short stories and speeches to help us out with this. The first experiment that we looked at was ‘The Cat In The Hat’, we had taken 4 different pages from the book and translated them into a emoji language. From the feedback, we were given last week, we decided to keep the words on the page and use the audio to host translation.


The second experiment we looked at was a translation of wedding vows in emoji form. We projected an image of a couple taking their vows with an audio recording of the emoji translation done by an automated voice on the computer.


The feedback we got from these two experiments, told us that we needed more of a dialogue between the translation and the original text. This was highly evident in our work we presented last week. It was established that what we had produced today lacked communication with our core question, and was stirring away from what we wanted to do.

We came to an understanding that our work from last week was stronger than what we had produced today. The video of us describing the emojis with more emotion captivated the audience more than just using a monotone voice.

From this, we have decided to continue on with what worked from our first iteration, we will look at more conversational pieces and stick with our video, which conveyed more emotion and depth than just a single voice and an image. For the next couple of weeks, Briana and I will look for various different conversational piece and see how we can translate them. We were also considering looking at common phrases used by people in a passive-aggressive way and adding emojis to the ends of the phrases to create a contrast within the dialogue itself.


Week 8: Development and Discussion

This week Briana and I set up the video we had proposed in our project pitch. We played around with the idea of creating a dialog through emojis with our own conversations but found that it didn’t have the flow we needed for a coherent conversation.

From this, we decided to pick a scene from the popular sitcom ‘Friends: The One With Ross’ New Girlfriend’, and translated it into emoji form. This is what we were left with:

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Within the editing process, we decided that we could have subtitles of the actual lines instead of the emoji’s we had been saying as the lines translations. We found that using the emojis on-screen made the piece a bit tacky and didn’t give the audience much time to engage with the piece.

Once we put up the video, Briana and I found elements which we didn’t like and weren’t too sure of. However, to our surprise, Matt liked the idea and concept behind the video and saw great potential in the project.However, to our surprise, Matt liked the idea and concept behind the video and saw great potential in the project.


From our own observations and suggestions made by the class, we have decided that in order to project this work further we will try different ways of displaying the emoji conversation for next week and see which ones work and which could be used in conjunction with one another to create the final piece. We discussed looking into displaying the conversation or short story through photos to give a ‘walk through’ effect for the audience with the audio playing through speakers above the images.

We have come up with a few ideas, which we wish to test out next week, these include the use of a picture book or stories with narratives:

  • Using images from a picture book but having the audio track read out in emojis

We may try playing with emojis on screen to see what kind of reaction we get from the audience before totally disregarding that element.

  • Audio of story but emojis on the screen
  • Text messages of a story in the form of emojis
  • Pictures on the wall of the scene with emojis replacing the words of children stories with an audio track of the actual words

Week 6: Project Pitch

For this project, I will be working in collaboration with Briana Wallace.

1) INITIAL CONCEPT: What is your idea, and how do you see this project relating to your practice?

An exploration of how communications have changed through the development of new technology. Specifically, how has the emoji changed the way people interact with each other. This relates heavily to our practice of emerging technologies exploring how emojis are being used as their own form of expression and language. Also linking to our field as marketers through a key underpinning of marketing communication between the brand and the consumer through different communication styles.


“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

The inspiration for this idea comes from Marshall McLuhan concept “the medium is the message”. The main idea behind this concept is that the medium that content is carried across plays a vital role in its perception. Suggesting, that the medium in which we choose to communicate holds as much, if not greater, value than the message itself. The medium through which a message is seen shapes the audience’s opinion of the message.

2) AESTHETIC/INSTALLATION: What will your project look like? What type of equipment and installation processes do you imagine this project would require? Would the work be able to be shown in a variety of spaces?

The project will consist of a video projection, onto the gallery wall or played in the black box with sound. The video will showcase a conversation between two people who say the emoji they would use in a text based conversation out loud.

The following video is an example of what we wish to create for our project.


In order to project the video, we would require a projector, speakers, a screen and space wither in the gallery or black box.

3) AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: How do you envisage people engaging with this artwork? What sort of experiences do you hope to inspire in your audiences?

Our project will engage the audience through the conversation they observe and listen to whilst viewing the video. We hope that our work will inspire the audience to consider how they communicate now, how they communicated in the past and how they will communicate in the future.

4) LOGISTICAL NOTES: How will you make the project happen? Would you need additional skills to help the idea happen? Would you need to find contractors/collaborators to assist you to realise this project idea?

In order for this project to be successful at answering or contributing to the question, “how we communicate with one other, in the past, present and future?” we will need to research the effects McLuhan concept has on different mediums and how this influences conversations.

For the editing of the video, we will need to acquire video editing skills in order produce a clean cut video and audio track. We could collaborate with others for this aspect of the project but developing our skills in this area would help us expand our knowledge and skills for our portfolios.


Week 5 – Recreating the Old

This week we were asked to look for an artist or work that resonated with our practice and our professional statements for our websites.

We, unfortunately, ran out of time to experiment with the chosen artworks, however, did get time to research and gain a deeper understanding of what we wanted to explore and if there was anyone else who held the same ideas as we did.

Briana and I were lucky enough to follow the same practice as well as the same concept to explore the future of language as a digital form. We had discussed before, how we wanted to showcase and explore the emergence of emojis in everyday language.

Looking for an artist with this same passion was quite the struggle, however, we did come across a Ukrainian artist Nastya Ptichek, who created a five-part series crossing the digital work over with classical stylings of art through painting. Her inspiration came from the realisation “that standard iOS emojis strongly resemble some well-known paintings of famous artists,” like this emoji representation of Edvard Munch’s The Scream.




Nastya Ptichek found a clever way to help people connect with our artistic past by using her own contemporary spin. She bridged together a “clever and interesting commentary on the impact that technology and the Internet have has on our lives”. Her work incorporates emoticons into classical paintings, showcasing the correlation between emerging technologies and classical art, which aims to reflect the character of the people in the digital age.

After exploring Ptichek’s deeper message into her work we decided that we would recreate her work as a stepping stone for our final piece, bridging together the traditional aspects of art and the digital age, almost bringing back what was lost and putting a new spin on it.

This is what we were experimenting with today:


the-starry-night emoji.jpg