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The 'Smiles' are annual interpretations of smiling dating back to 2017. There are no rules about the form each smile might take, except there has to be one a year.
Digital video, 00:03:43 loop
supplants 4k video footage of my non-smiling eyes onto the blush face emoji. This superimposition questions the authenticity and sincerity of body language in general, but examines specifically how emotions are performed, communicated and convoluted th rough symbolic or digital media.
Complexity is further added to the flattened emoji form through the work’s duration and potentially infinite loop, as the eyes blink with discomfort with the passing of time. Encountered via social media, the eyes give this coy emoji an uncannily intrusive quality. When physically installed, the work commands attention like a clock face or celestial object.
*"Smile (2020)" uses the emoji "Twemoji12_1f60a.svg" by Twitter, licensed under CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)
4k digital video, 00:34:05
This video documents an endurance smile performed in my bedroom in summer 2019. I enacted this many times before this particular take, and was thinking about how one might muster happiness or set the tone for the day through a forced smile - an idea that comes loosely from behavioural science and self-help power-pose type theories although I first encountered it through 'Smile Therapy' in Ally McBeal.
> 2 minute timelapse
Slade Interim Show 2019
Shown as a full 34 minute loop in physical space, this becomes an absurd and painful gesture, further compounded by how eye contact is maintained with the camera (or viewer) as I am blinded by the sun. In this physical installation, the viewer is invited to sit across from my mediated, life-sized smiling self in the very chair I sat in to perform it.
Digital video, 00:01:23 to loop
Dressed in a pound stretcher slanket reminiscent of Marina Abramovic's red 'Artist is Present' gown, I walk up to the camera (viewer) and attempt at smile, which sticks at an awkward grimace, before stepping back again.
Gif, dimensions variable
Following my use of a blush face emoji in a private message to 'Curt' in 2016 and use of this character in the text, I developed this gif to convey the real desperation and emotion behind this coy symbol. It became a motif in the overlove video following its first appearance in episode 3.