An excellent use of lightness is used in Tailspin by Christine Wilks.
Wilks tells the story of a old man that lives with his daughter and grandchildren. He refuses to get hearing aids. This causes a lot of problems in the house as he is always angry that he can’t hear anything due to his grandchildren’s video games.
Wilks’ presentation has a wonderful lightness to it.
It begins with a simple, yet elegant title page. The words “tailspin” appear on screen. While the awful noise of forks scraping on plates plays. Wilks affectively uses one simple sound for every segment. Instead of inundating us with sounds like most games or television shows. She uses one sound. This creates a sense of lightness. We are not weighed down and distracted by the noises. But instead the one noise complements the animation and words on the page.
The animation is a gray background with rotating spirals. The spirals definitely convey a feeling of lightness. As you scroll over the spiral words appear to tell the story and animation and sound begin too. Instead of creating an animated scene rooted in gravity, Wilks animated a gray background with floating spirals. Even the additional animated animals and planes that appear throughout it just float about the screen.
The use of text in this piece of E-Literature is light as well. As you pass over a spiral a small piece of text appears. You can choose the order the text appears. The text is only a few sentences. It either talks about the present day or the story of the plane diving in a tailspin. The text is brief, but every block of text provides insight into the feelings of the Grandfather or his daughter. It also meets Calvino’s other criteria for lightness: it is in motion, literally and figuratively. The motion Calvino described was that it perpetuated the story and plot. But, through the use of digital media Wilks is able to make it literally move as well.