Appy faces of technology
WHEN Ukip MP Douglas Carswell recently responded to his leader Nigel Farage’s resignation, it was concise. And cocky. And funny. And ludicrous. He tweeted an emoji, the yellow smiley face one with sunglasses.
Hands have been wrung in countless articles about emojis ruining the next generation’s ability to communicate, and yet this one pictoral said so much.
A new course, “Adventures in Arts and Technology”, at Furtherfield gallery is exploring the potency of emojis for storytelling, debate and politics with 13 to 18-year-olds between July 25 and August 5. Young Islington residents will work with eight digital artists at the Finsbury Park workshop space for two weeks creating digital art, building robots, designing apps and digital games.
“We’ll be looking at the ethics of tech culture,” said Ruth Catlow, Furtherfield co-director, “and thinking critically about how we know what we know and the views we come across in the media.”
Exhibition curator Gretta Louw’s project explores social media in indigenous cultures
The series of workshops tie in with current show “Networking the Unseen”.
Exhibition curator Gretta Louw will be leading the workshop, “Your emojis are not innocent”, which ties in with her project with aboriginal communities to investigate where and how indigenous cultures and social media meet.
The young participants on the course will create their own emoji alphabet to share stories and see how they are subverted or misunderstood in other people’s hands. For Ruth it’s about young people being empowered to politicise and exploit tools that they already use daily.
“These are folk culture forms that everyone is playing with all the time,” she said. “It can be really empowering, especially for people who think art is not for them, to take these folk forms and use them to think about important issues.”
• ‘Networking the Unseen’ runs until August 14.
• ‘Adventures in Arts and Technology’ runs from July 25-August 5 at Furtherfield Commons. For details on taking part email Alicia on [email protected]. Booking is essential.