Arabic symphony (2019 – ongoing). Free interpretation of a poem of mine from Greek to emoji, and further interpretation of emoji in various languages.
The work ‘Arabic symphony’ concerns the pictorial ability of language. In other words, it concerns its ability to create and convey images. This piece of work focuses on the connection between language and image, and the way these two interact in a perpetual palimpsest of expressions and interpretations.
Emoji constitute a popular means of communication in digital culture. It is a medium that is rapidly transmitted mainly through social media, and has evolved commercially since the 1980s with emoticons, and since the 1990s with modern glyphs along with emoji. In this project, I interpreted a poem of mine written in Greek to emoji. Then, volunteers speaking diverse languages and wishing to collaborate, translate the emoji text freely, each of them in their own language. The interpretation of each one is unique. Through the different versions the power of the image (emoji) is characteristically visible. An image can almost never convey the same meaning to different people, especially if they come from different cultural backgrounds. Ultimately, the conclusion is that the image is an infinite and subjective condition, while the different interpretations of an image are as many as the people of this planet. How does the emoji medium really communicate and what ‘problems’ does it pose in this communication?