How is meaning changed by context and typgraphy - in art, emoji and language
firstname.lastname@example.org via Unicode
unicode at unicode.org
Tue Mar 31 13:22:37 CDT 2020
I received a circulated email from MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art in New
York. I am, at my request, on their mailing list.
There is a link to a web page.
There is a video embedded in the web page, 8 minutes.
I watched the video and found it interesting.
There is one part where two identical images each have a different
I noticed that both titles were in English.
With typography today it has become almost obligatory these days for a
proposal for a new emoji character to become encoded, for the emoji
character to be suggested as having multiple possible meanings, possibly
linked to context, or maybe just anyway.
The beginnings of this phenomenon and the problems of ambiguity of
meaning of emoji characters was discussed in a talk at the Unicode
conference in 2015.
There was mention of the possibility of "precise emoji".
Yet these days imprecision of emoji meaning has become widespread. Yet
has the possibility of QID emoji brought back the possibility of precise
emoji? Decoding could be to an image, or to language-localized speech or
language-localized text, or even all three at once. Yet only if QID
emoji are allowed to flourish, perhaps after a few careful modifications
to the original proposal so as to minimize, or at least limit, the
possibility of encoding chaos.
I have long been fascinated by what I regard as subtle changes of
meaning that setting a piece of text in different fonts produces, though
some other people opine that the meaning is unchanged, regardless of the
Also, can some meanings not be expressed from one language to another?
If so, is that due to the nature of the languages or the culture where
the original text was produced, or some of each. Does the general shape
of the way that a particular script has developed reflect, or influence,
the original literature written in that script? Do words that rhyme in
one language produce imagery that does not arise in a language where
their translations do not rhyme? For example, boaco and erinaco rhyme In
Esperanto, yet their translations in English, reindeer and hedgehog, do
The art works in the MoMA video also reminded me of something that was
in this mailing list probably in the early 2000s.
The post was about translations linked to an art project.
It was an art project about some orange blocks and people were taking
photographs of art works where one of the orange blocks was presented in
Maybe it was a student project, I don't know.
I have looked on the web and thus far found nothing about it, not even
the original post in this mailing list thus far.
Since then technology has changed a lot, much more is now possible for
more people. There are now widespread emoji, there is Google street
view, and so on.
New art possibilities.
Does anyone else remember the orange blocks please? Maybe an interesting
stepping stone in the history of art.
Tuesday 31 March 2020
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