Review of Strings By Dan Waber

                Strings is a Flash piece of literature by Dan Waber; Strings was published in 1999 and it includes eight separate moving pieces of black string across a white screen. Dan Waber developed this piece to resemble relationships; he explores the relationship between words, movement, handwriting and human experiences. The separate parts of his piece are involved with ideas of argument, flirting, and laughter.

                I clicked on the first link titled “Argument,” here I saw a piece of string tugging left and right, spelling the words yes and no. I liked this idea of tension between the two words. The actual movement from the formation of yes to know represented an actual physical pulling back and forth. This movement mirrors the argumentative relationship between the words yes and no. “Argument 2,” dealt with the same notion of the struggle but it added in a medium of maybe. There was no shifting between the words, just the words appearing in different order on the screen. The addition of the word maybe, brought a less tense tone to the piece.

The second idea Waber plays with in his flash presentation is flirting. The image of a handwritten word that I cannot decipher, tucks in and out of view across the screen. By doing this, Waber is teasing us; I found myself waiting impatiently for the handwriting to be clearer and to fully present itself but it never does. Therefore, Waber successfully captures the idea of flirting in this portion of Strings.

Laughter is the third idea in Waber’s piece. The handwritten laughter “ha-ha” sways from left to right and continuously grows. With each shift, the laughter becomes longer. This mirrors the idea of real life laughter; laughing usually starts out small and grows as things become funnier.
                Strings is a interesting flash piece of literature that plays with notions of human behaviors and handwriting. It intertwines simple concepts of motion and handwriting to portray these actions. Strings is unique in the fact that such a simple idea can become very complex and intriguing. It’s almost as if he gives life to an inanimate object. I would be interested in seeing more works like this.

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