Yoko Ono’s Smile App!

Peace activist, artist and widow of John Lennon, Yoko Ono has created an application called #smilesfilm for iPhone which lets users all over the world to view and upload snapshots of smiling faces. It was envisioned by Yoko Ono who wanted to create a film which would include the smiling face of every person in the world.

In 1960’s, Ono had set out to create a film using the smiling face of every person in the world, a project that took nearly five decades to complete and is now available in the form of an application. She says about the application which is also a part of her global piece of artwork, “It is the simplest thing to make yourself healthy and make others feel good”. It’s a changing collection of photos which express her original vision of getting people around the world together and connecting them through a platform. The application has three sections, dream, watch and smile. Users can look at the pictures geographically on a map or chronologically as a slideshow. Also they can take snapshots of their smiling faces which are then integrated in the application and placed on a map based on their location. The application is available online as a website since June 1st, till date more than 3,300 photos have been taken. This isn’t the first artwork of Yoko Ono which features ‘smiling’ as its theme, in 1971 she had created a conceptual artwork piece called ‘A Box of Smile’ which was a plastic box which the user opens to reveal a mirror inside. Also her 1968 film No.5 famously known as ‘Smile’ featuring John Lennon in his garden at home in Weybridge, England. The film which premiered at the Chicago Film Festival showed Lennon holding a camera and going from a straight face to a full-on smile.

Ono admitted in an e-mail interview that it’s not always easy to smile especially after her husband passed away but suggested people to give it a go. The app has released worldwide last week for iPhone users and photos can be uploaded via twitter and instagram too. The project was started in 2009 on Flickr and consisted of only a few images of smiling faces collected at photo booths in art exhibits in Tokyo, Berlin and New Delhi. The project will be shown till September 9th as part of the London Film Festival at the Serpentine Art Gallery in London where a photo booth will also be set up for the visitors and photos collected in the application will also be part of the exhibit.

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