Artmoji? is a public roundtable on art, emoji, communication and identity politics, centered around work by Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough. All are welcome to join this open conversation with the artist and special guests:
Dorothy Santos, Writer, editor, curator and educator
Sougwen Chung (愫君), Artist
Marley Rafson, Software Engineer, Google
Paul Dancstep, Exhibit Developer, Exploratorium
Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough, Artist
Moderated by Rhiannon Evans MacFadyen, Curator, Director, Black & White Projects
In the Lexicon series, Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough considers the limitations of spoken language. Using familiar, yet abstract symbols as proxies for concepts or feelings, her compositions present open-ended, fluid narratives defined by the viewer’s personal associations and interpretations. Inspired in part by ancient pictographs, modern icons, Japanese cell phone novels, and the ubiquity of emoji as shorthand, Yarbrough’s symbols seek to add more nuanced, less binary elements to this ongoing conversation.
Translated through digital and analogue techniques, Yarbrough’s 2D and 3D works incorporate the breadth of today’s technology and the idiosyncrasies of hand craftsmanship to present a new visual lexicon for translation.
The exhibition, Lexicon 3D, kicks off a project to translate Mary Elizabeth Yarbrough’s symbols into a downloadable digital emoji pack: Artmoji, available in Spring 2018. Join the artist, tech partners, and invited guests for the roundtable conversation about the project.
Dorothy R. Santos (b. 1978) is a Filipina American writer, editor, curator, and educator whose research interests include new media and digital art, activism, artificial intelligence, and biotechnology. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, she holds Bachelor’s degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of San Francisco, and received her Master’s degree in Visual and Critical Studies at the California College of the Arts. She is a doctoral candidate in Film and Digital Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz as a Eugene V. Cota-Robles fellow.
Her work appears in art21, Art Practical, Daily Serving, Rhizome, Hyperallergic, Real Life Magazine, Vice Motherboard, and SF MOMA’s Open Space. She has lectured at the De Young museum, Stanford University, School of Visual Arts, and more. Her essay “Materiality to Machines: Manufacturing the Organic and Hypotheses for Future Imaginings,” was published in The Routledge Companion to Biology in Art and Architecture. She is also a member of the curatorial collective REFRESH focused on women of color artists working in art, science, and technology.
Sougwen Chung (愫君) is a Chinese-born, Canadian-raised artist based in New York. Her work explores the mark-made-by-hand and the mark-made-by-machine as an approach to understanding the interaction between humans and computers. Her speculative critical practice spans installation, sculpture, still image, drawing, and performance.
She is a former researcher fellow at MIT’s Media Lab and Inaugural member of NEW INC, the first museum-led art and technology in collaboration with The New Museum. She received a BFA from Indiana University and a Masters Diploma in Interactive Art from Hyper Island in Sweden.
Chung received Japan Media Art’s Excellence Award in 2016 for her project, ‘Drawing Operations’. In 2014, she was selected as one of the Top 20 New Visual Artists by Print Magazine. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Geneva; National Art Center, Tokyo; MIT Media Lab, Cambridge; The New Museum (Sky Room), New York; Tribeca Film Festival, New York; The Hospital Club, London; Mutek Festival, Montreal & Mexico City; Sonar Festival, Barcelona. Her work has also been featured in The New Yorker, Art F City, Dazed and Confused, The Creators Project, MASHABLE, Engadget, Business Insider, Fast Company and USA Today. She has spoken internationally at conferences including Tribeca Film Festival Interactive, New York; OFFF, Barcelona; FITC, Tokyo; Internet Dargana, Stockholm; SXSW, Austin; The Art Directors Club, New York.
Marley is a software engineer at Google developing augmented reality for the web. She’s passionate about the intersection between art and technology, and loves dreaming about the future both theoretically and practically.
Paul Dancstep grew up in San Diego but has never been on a surfboard. He studied physics in college but is still baffled by things like zippers. He’s been at the Exploratorium for the last decade, building boxes, changing lightbulbs and talking about math to anyone who will listen.