For all their popularity, there is most certainly a case to be made against emojis. In this writer’s personal opinion, they are childish at best and Orwellian at worst. We seem about a hair’s breadth away from “double-plus good” territory sometimes. In any case, emojis have clearly moved beyond fad into the realm of being a thing that we’re doing indefinitely. Like the similarly annoying if less practical QR Codes, it was only a matter of time before someone did something interesting with them.
People have used emojis to translate song lyrics before. They’ve even done it on other Fast Company sites. What Brooklyn producer Oneohtrix Point Never has done, however, is use these symbols to graft a narrative onto an instrumental piece of music in a video. Directed by John Michael Boling, whose website has a very fun url, “Boring Angel” is an atypical tale told atypically.
The video begins with an organ-led intro and a static emoji face. Soon, the visual of a ticking clock corresponds to an accelerated click track. After an emoji of an iPhone comes onscreen, which is itself a nicely meta touch, we next see a vibrating loudspeaker that goes along with an arpeggiated keyboard riff. During the remainder of the video, a series of emojis flash, forming a coherent narrative about a man who does not take the end of his relationship very well.
Although this video doesn’t make up for the all-emoji mass-texts I was sent this past Christmas, it’s a dazzling start.