— text that moves, even dances, on the computer screen, sweeping from one side to the other, appearing to move closer to readers or retreat away from them into a simulated distance. Text animation, which has become very popular in recent digital poetry, derives from the nature of computer text, which takes the form of code. Until the development of digital textuality, all writing necessarily took the form of physical marks on physical surfaces. With computers, writing, which had always been physical, now became a matter of codes — codes that could be changed, manipulated, and moved in entirely new ways. "Change the code, change the text" became the rule from which derive the advantages of so-called word processing (which is actually the composition, manipulation, and formatting of text in computer environments).
The same text-as-code that permits word processing also permits moving words. In its simplest form, text animation simply involves dispensing the poem at a rate determined by the author.
Kate Pullinger and Talan Memmot's elegant Branded (2003) functions in this way.
Pearl Forss's Authorship (2000) combines sound and text animation to create experimental discursive writing for e-space.
Philadelpho Menezes and Wilton Azvedo's Interpoesia: Poesia Hipmedia Interativa (1998), in which elements (or fragments) of both spoken and written words react to the reader's manipulation of the computer mouse. Letters move, parts of words change color or disappear, and sounds become layered upon one another as the reader essentially performs the text using the sounds provided.
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