Purpose: Investigate how a "cute" aesthetic can communicate serious messages. In this case, can an emoji convey a complex feeling such as grief? I chose one particular emoji because of its label, "persevering face", is more subjective than other emoji names, such as "smiling face with open mouth". I merged the emoji with a selection of letters and punctuation based on a study of my own texting and emoji usage patterns. The result is a layering of language that activates a range of words and sounds in the viewer's mind.

Form: 6'x6' mosaic made of laser cut plywood and paper. The design was generated with a mix of Javascript and manual typesetting

Featured in the "MFA Show 2015" at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago & "Entrainment" with the Voyeur Theatre Collective

Anna Smylie Caldwell — 2021