<@~*}*•??}~> was a public activity presented by DHC/ART – Education in conjunction with the exhibition Cory Arcangel: Power Points,  from June 21 to November 24, 2013.

To take part in <@~*}*•??}~>, we invited the public to come to our Reference room located at 451 St-Jean to write some “velcro poetry” using a combination of text symbols and emoticons. The mixing and matching of these images encourages experimentation with the linguistic innovations introduced by the Internet and text messaging. How fluent are you in emoticon expression? How much are we actually able to communicate by using these forms of symbolic referencing? Do emoticons offer a key to evolving our inter-personal expression by providing tools for a new image-based poetic expression? To push their “velcro poetry” experiment further, we suggested that participants take a photo of their creation with their phone and then share it with friends.

<@~*}*•??}~> is inspired by the artist Cory Arcangel’s tongue and cheek use of emoticons in the titling and descriptions of his works, as well as his interventions that playfully subvert and reveal the potential of electronic communication.

Cory Arcangel is recognized as a major exponent of a pop-tinged, computer-centred art. Arcangel embraces the Internet’s anarchic potential and its Utopian open source culture, making works that question authorship, the status, and value of the art object. Exploring both the promises and deceptions of software, electronic gadgets, games and other devices—with an emphasis on how they become old and quickly out-dated—Arcangel’s art eulogizes technology’s built-in obsolescence while also wittily celebrating its noise, mindless repetitions, and inevitable failures.