Emoji, Emoji, What for Art Thou?

Lisa Lebduska


This essay provides a history and context for emoji as a way of re-materializing composing while simultaneously arguing that emoji do not threaten alphabetic literacy and instead provide a means of creative graphic expression. The essay acknowledges that n some instances emoji do help to clarify the intent or tone of alphabetic writing, but it notes that emoji, like alphabetic writing, is culturally and contextually bound.  Emoji expand expression and doing so open themselves to re-appropriation, intepretation and even misinterpretation, along with the affirming possibilities of artistic creation.


emoji; emoticon; visual rhetoric; pop culture