ICONIC shows the audience how arbitrary visual systems are by misinterpreting icons in a comical way.
Present day viewers step forward in time as they attend Hidden Figures, an exhibition taking place in the year 2643.
Since solar storms in the early 2000s knocked out the internet and all electronics, digital evidence of the era has been lost. After a year-long excavation of what was once London, an archaeologist must piece together life in the early 2000s using nothing but icons and artefacts, and exhibits their interpretation of those symbols at the exhibition.
Iconography works due to a shared visual language between members of a society, so when both the visual dictionary and the digital photographic evidence of life in the 2000s are lost, so are the icon’s original meaning.
For that reason, the archaeologist deeply misinterprets icons according to their understanding of the 2000s era, its mysterious technological wisdom, and the ecological crisis that ensued.
Inspired by the out-of-context style of the British Museum, the exhibition is called Hidden Figures, a reflection of both the newly excavated icons and the hidden visual dictionary and biases that are brought to light.