Emoji

A Baroque Body in the Theatricality of Online Interactions

in Screen Bodies
Author:
Amin Heidari PhD candidate, Macquarie University, Australia amin.heidari@mq.edu.au

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Abstract

Online users devise different strategies and techniques to make up for the absence of physical bodies in online communications, one of which is using emojis. Emojis are a diverse set of small images, symbols, or icons, standardized by the Unicode Consortium for utilization in electronic communication platforms. Their primary role is to effectively convey the emotional attitude of the writer, succinctly provide information, and playfully communicate messages. This article posits that bodily emojis (emojis portraying a body gesture or facial expression) are a form of digital embodiment. Their usage, thus, creates a form of digital performance. Emojis appear as a screen body in a space that lacks the physical one. Furthermore, I suggest that this body could be described as aesthetically Baroque. My proposition is that emojis exhibit Baroque characteristics such as dynamic and exaggerated forms and decorate texts. Emojis share similarities with the appearance and function of the Baroque body both in Baroque visual art and Baroque dance.

Contributor Notes

Amin Heidari shifted his focus to the world of art and theater after obtaining his law degree from the University of Kashan. He pursued a master's degree in Theatre Directing at the Tehran University of Art. He has been deeply passionate about directing and performing on stage. In terms of research, he is a PhD candidate at Macquarie University, analyzing the performativity of emojis in digital communications. Specifically, he is exploring how emojis, in their aesthetic engagement within everyday digital interactions, contribute to the propagation of macro ideologies like neoliberalism and principles of the capitalist market. His other field of interest is film studies, and his article on the anti-Nietzschean nature of the cinema of Abel Ferrara is under review. Email: amin.heidari@mq.edu.au

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Screen Bodies

The Journal of Embodiment, Media Arts, and Technology

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