The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York City has decided that these glyphs have now obtained an artistic status that entitles them them to an permanent exhibition of their own. The original set contained 176 emoji, but now there are nearly 2,oo0 standardiazed emoji. They may have had their beginnings in Japan with the mobile telephone company DoCoMo and risen to MoMa, but they now seem to belong to everyone and no one. Some see emoji becoming the medium for an Internet-wide collaborative art project as they are traded and remixed by users.
I am not really sure what kind of art project this would turn out to be. I am still trying to figure out what all the emojis mean, but maybe that’s just my problem. Here is what the experts say, and I have to take their word for it: “Emoji evoke art forms both ancient and modern, from hieroglyphics to manga (Japanese comics). Their novelty is in how they are deployed.” In some sense, I guess this means we can all become artists contributing to an Internet-wide “object d’art.”
And all along I thought I was just finding clever icons that I could include in email messages and random online responses. Thank you emoji.