Jim Andrews and Brian Lennon bring the fascination of text messaging into the e-poetry world with their Flash-driven “Log.” A part of their “Stir Fry Texts” works, “Log” is one of seven short pieces that take the form of an SMS conversation.
At first all that appears is the heading of a text with the From, To, Subject, etc…in red lettering. Clicking the “original message” header brings up a threaded SMS conversation with a few recent messages. Several short phrases are found in each message, such as “I split the full scale mark” and “I’m what you want.” Others are much more vague and mysterious, including, for example, “I altered” and “Strenuous read.” It appears the phrases are totally random; some are similar to status updates, while others are rare phrases put together, seemingly with no reasonable explanation.
The mouse starts a cycle through the text as the reader rolls over the messages. The letters scroll and shift, forming new sets of messages with a mix of new and old phrases. Lennon and Andrews allow readers to control when the text cycles, which is whenever the mouse scrolls over the letters. The black background may represent the dark tones of several of the phrases contained in the messages. The white lettering of the messages mixed with the red lettering of the header and time make “Log” a distinctive and absorbing piece of work.