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Dirty Signs: Dirt Emoji Think Tank Open Call

Submit your ideas to the Dirt Emoji Think Tank on Governors Island by August 18!

Right now, at this moment, wherever you are reading this message, there is dirt under your fingernails, smudged on your phone screen, or trapped behind your laptop keyboard. There’s dirt on the dishes in your sink, on the subway tracks you’re waiting next to while you read this, or several stories below where you are, packed down hard beneath a building’s foundation. 

It doesn’t really matter where it is, you know it’s there. Can you see it or imagine what it looks like in your head? If you can, go ahead right now and jot down what you imagine the nearest dirt to you looks like. Draw it, make a few notes, photograph it. Whatever. We’ll wait.

Ok, now guess where there isn’t any dirt? Dirt isn’t in your phone’s emoji catalog!!

Even though dirt is where our food comes from, where our bodies get buried when we die, and is literally everywhere we go, it is not represented yet in the emoji universe! We have emojis for unicorns, pufferfish, poodles and Santa Claus, but not dirt. Dirty Time is planning to try to correct this oversight and will be submitting a proposal for a dirt emoji to the Unicode foundation in 2024. But we need your dirty ideas! What should the dirt emoji be??

Until August 18, 2023, we’re accepting dirt emoji proposals in any format (digital, analog, 2d, 3d or 4d, performative, etc.) and plan to exhibit them on Governors Island from September 16 – 30th. We’ll have a rousing closing party for the exhibition on the last day and award state fair/science fair style “ribbons” to proposals in multiple categories, host live emoji case-making, and do public UX testing of some of the crowd favorites through our Emoji Think Tank.

Here’s a slightly a corny video that gives some more background on this project: 

And here’s where you can apply:

We can’t wait to see your ideas!

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