FCA Commission – ‘Emoticon Intelligence Agency’ – Simon Raven

August 2016 – ‘Emoticon Intelligence Agency’ Update by Simon Raven

Photographs by Josh Wilson

image of a man holding a sign saying 'alone again. he's wearing a mask with the facebook like symbol on


Josh Wilson and I have been working in my studio at Baltic 39 for the past few weeks, and we’ve been venturing into Newcastle City Centre to make unannounced, public ‘Emoticon Intelligence Agency’ performances.
a man wearing a mask with a sign saying 'personal debt'. his mask is love heart Emoticon
For each work we’ve paired Emoticon headgear with protest messages that are supposed to have an enigmatic/humorous quality, offering multiple potential readings.
man holding up a sign saying 'empathy'. he has a mask on with the smiley face Emoticon on it
Performances have had some interesting reactions from the public, particularly in light of the Pokemon craze, which suggests an invasion of emoticon-like creatures in public space.

May 2016

Full Circle Arts is delighted to announce the following commission:

‘Emoticon Intelligence Agency’ – Simon Raven

I will devise a series of public performances that combine specially made ’emoticon’ costumes with enigmatic messages that have to be decoded. Digital images of each performance will be posted to dedicated ‘Emoticon Intelligence Agency’ social media pages, encouraging audience interaction. My aim is to investigate the meaning and value of emotional intelligence in digitally mediated culture/society, and whether a lived experience of disability might contribute to emotional awareness.

a man with a laughing emoticon mask over his head