Created in the context of the physical and social isolation caused by the 2020 global pandemic, Dial expresses the tenuous lifeline offered through text messaging and instant messaging, according to the editorial statement. Dialogue is generative, shifting through emojis and brief phrases conveying the weather, seasons and the passage of time, the two voices fusing into a monologue. This work is a deeper reflection on the malleable time experienced during the blockade, when minutes felt like days and months passed without discernible memories to separate them.
I found similarities between this work and the interactive mechanics of peaceful dream that I had previously reviewed – capturing text and image changes through the eye. The rapidly changing background colors and the text in the dialogue bubbles show the passage of time. Most importantly this work reminds me of how people lived during the height of the pandemic. I was reminded that I spent my entire freshman semester at home during the beginning of the pandemic. I spent 90% of my day on my phone and computer during the initial lockdown. My message dialog was just as this work shows – rapidly changing and sometimes confusing. The sense of time also seemed to change during the pandemic. The difference between day and night seemed to be the same except for the presence or absence of the sun – the streets were always dead. I started reversing the days and nights to escape the abnormal days, because the nights seemed to go by faster. Those were the days when I found the least meaning of life. I was grateful that people worked hard to make the blockade permanent and not come back.