MoMA incorporates vintage emoji characters into its permanent showcase
The incy-wincy 12-by-12 pixel graphics were designed by NTT DOCOMO‘s inventive Shigetaka Kurita back in 1999. Unlike the infinitude of emojis today (there are countless being generated every single sec), these symbols keep it pretty rudimentary: fronting just five smileys, four hand gestures, and a limited range of zodiac symbols. MoMA got the emojis via NTT DOCOMO, who handed over the little logotypes to the venerable NYC institution this week. According to Paul Galloway, MoMA‘s design head honcho, the symbols are a “timeless” addition to MoMA‘s portfolio. “Shigetaka Kurita, who was a member of the i-mode development team, proposed a better way to incorporate images in the limited visual space available on cell phone screens,” Galloway wrote in a thoughtful essay about art and symbolism. “Released in 1999, Kurita’s 176 emoji (pictorial characters) were instantly successful and copied by rival companies in Japan…Just like the @, emojis as a concept go back in the centuries, to ideograms, hieroglyphics, and other graphic characters, enabling us to draw this beautiful arch that covers all of human history…There is nothing more modern than timeless concepts such as these.” MoMA‘s senior curator, Paola Antonelli, said this about the little buggers: “From the start (in 1929), part of MoMA’s mission has been to display and collect the art of our time, and our time is lived today in both the digital and the physical space.” MoMa said it will animate the emojis into an interactive exhibit, and put them on display at the venue’s entrance way asap ☺シ.
[VIVISXN – Art News]