Individual Work

Strings is a Flash piece created by Dan Waber that utilizes animated "strings" to mimic a handwritten style, while also moving those strings to symbolize various aspects of life. Each part is animated, using the placement of the strings and their interactions to represent the topic. Each animation is fluid, creating an effect that gives life to every page of the work.
There are a total of eight pages, representing concepts including arguments, flirting, laughter, relationships, or even the concept of words themselves. Each page features one or more animated strings to push across that concept. Waber utilizes the smooth nature of Flash, with techniques such as tweening, to make each word visually appealing. Stylistically, the words that are formed are in cursive, with the animations that form them being incredibly fluid and natural. The first page, argument, for example, is composed of a single string. The string is pulled from side to side, with "yes" being formed on the left side, and "no" being formed on the right. This sort of simple animation, devoid of sound and interaction, is able to easily distill the concept of an argument down to something simple.
Each page, in concept, is similar to this. The speed, amount of motion, and various other aspects are changed to better represent the concept being conveyed. Some words may behave more erratically, zipping around the screen, while others are slow and stable. This gives each word a personality, giving credence to the idea that these ideas are utterly human, that they represent different things for different people. The fact that the piece is almost entirely visual, with interaction being limited to changing the page, forces the viewer to contemplate what it means to them. Some people might see themselves in the word that is flying around everywhere, while others might see themselves as the stable word in the center, the rock of the relationship. Overall, the piece is stylistically simple, yet that simplicity is what makes it so impactful. Anyone can understand Strings, and, because of that fact, anyone can enjoy it.

Author statement: 
The author quotes Jim Andrews's description: "Strings is a playful series of Flash pieces about relationships. It also raises questions about the presence/absence of the hand in this medium. Visual artists often criticise the lack of presence of the hand in digital art. In Strings, the hand is and is not present, is transformed, is transforming, is writing, is written, coded. Tis morphed."