Lectures and Talks

Art Connects | Welcome to Emojiland (You’ll Never Leave)

Thu Jul 15 4 PM

Vancouver Art Gallery

Thursday, July 15 | 4 PM PST


Since being introduced in Japan in the late 1990s, emojis are now an omnipresent form of social communication. Of all changes to language made in the past decade, the most ground-breaking may be those brought on by emojis, the tiny pictograms now gracing countless screens all over the world on a bewildering range of personal and public platforms. Launched in 1999 by a Japanese mobile telephone company seeking to retain old users and attract new ones in a competitive domestic market, emojis have pushed us to think about a new frontier of communication mapped onto pre-existing terrains of visual representation.

But how do emojis connect to the surface in the context of contemporary art, a field of profound ambivalence towards the commodifying impulses of capitalism? Taking literary theorist Sianne Ngai’s efforts to picture the visual environment of late capitalism via the categories of the zany, the interesting and the cute, in this talk, ahead of World Emoji Day on July 17, art historian Joan Kee discusses how contemporary art inverts the cute and affective emoji—to foreground the banal and creepy as a new baseline for socially motivated critique. She will also explore how contemporary art via emojis offers new ground on which to expand old struggles over representation towards new, and more importantly, unforeseen limits.

This episode of Art Connects is presented in partnership with the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art. Simultaneous interpretation from English to Mandarin will be provided.

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CART Services (Communication Access Realtime Translation) are available for Public Programs upon request. Please provide seven business days of advance notice prior to an event. We will make every effort to meet requests made outside of this window of time.

To place a request, please contact Stephanie Bokenfohr by email at sbokenfohr@vanartgallery.bc.ca


Joan Kee is Associate Professor in the History of Art at the University of Michigan. Kee focuses on modern and contemporary art from multiregional and cross disciplinary perspectives and is especially interested in what might be called an applied art history, where methods central to the discipline—close visual analysis in particular—offer a lens for thinking about extra-artistic phenomena, from law to digital communication. A finalist for the Charles Rufus Morey Prize for the most distinguished book in art history, Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2013) has been credited by numerous publications for bringing international attention to Korean abstraction. Kee is a contributing editor at Artforum, as well on the advisory boards of Art History, the Oxford Art Journal and Art Margins.

Art Connects線上講座 – 歡迎來到Emojiland萌奇樂園(你永遠不會離開)
主講人:Joan Kee
7 月 15 日 | 4PM | 太平洋標準時間

自從 1990年代後期,日本推出繪文字 (emoji /表情符號)以來,繪文字是現今一種無所不在的社交交流形式。這十年語言所有變化中,最具開創性的可能是繪文字帶來的變革,這些微小的象形符號充斥在世界各地令人眼花繚亂的個人和公共平台無數個屏幕上。繪文字由一家日本行動通訊公司於1999年推出,當初想法是希望在競爭激烈的國內市場中留住老用戶並吸引新用戶的策略,幫助促進電子通訊並作為區別於其他業務的特色功能。繪文字促使我們思考一個運用預先存在的視覺表現延伸出新的通信方式。同時,思考在當代藝術的語境下,繪文字又如何與當代藝術——這個對資本主義矛盾態度的領域聯繫起來?

以文學理論家 Sianne Ngai 的研究去探索晚期資本主義視覺環境下延伸出的滑稽、有趣和可愛的類別,藝術史學家 Joan Kee 在本次演講中將討論當代藝術如何反轉可愛和具有豐富情感的繪文字變成作為社會反諷的新基線。

這次演講在國際繪文字日(National Emoji day)前舉辦,Kee將討論了當代藝術與繪文字如何提供新的基礎,將舊有的具象爭議帶至嶄新但卻不可預見的限制。

Joan Kee 是密歇根大學藝術史副教授。 Kee從跨區域性和跨學科的角度關注現代和當代藝術,尤其對所謂的應用藝術史感興趣,該學科的核心——尤其是對視覺深度分析——提供了一個思考從法律到數位通信的藝術現象視角。入圍查爾斯·魯弗斯·莫雷獎(Charles Rufus Morey Prize)的藝術史上最傑出著作《當代韓國藝術:韓國單色畫和緊迫性的方法》(2013 年) (Contemporary Korean Art: Tansaekhwa and the Urgency of Method (2013) 已獲眾讚譽為讓國際關注韓國抽象的一本重要出版物。Kee 是《藝術論壇》(Artforum)的特約編輯,也是《藝術史》(Art History)、《牛津藝術雜誌》(Oxford Art Journal)和 Art Margins的顧問委員會成員。




Presented by:

Jane Irwin and Ross Hill

With additional support from:
Presented in partnership with: