About The Email Tree

Dear Google,

I have a small inquiry concerning your email service’s visual elements. Few weeks ago I was traveling by train to Jyväskylä (a small but lovely city about 250 kilometres from our capital Helsinki) and about 10 kilometres (may have been more or maybe less) from the city centre I saw an interesting scene on the left side of the train track (I was sitting with my back against the travel direction so it was on my right side but really on the left). On the horizon there was a tree line (mostly spruces but some pines and maybe some birches too) which was kind of like cut, it looked as if somebody had just went and lifted a block of forest from the tree line. The trees were cut for the power lines crossing the landscape to be safe from a possible damage made by a storm. There were a few trees on the empty part of the tree line though (please find my quick sketch attached).

I am currently working on my second poetry book. A while ago I got curious about this one visual element in your Gmail service. You know it happens every once in a while that you somehow end up involved in an email thread with several recipients and there is a thing that needs a lot of discussion and the email exchange ends up being a super long chain of emails that has begun with formal greetings and official sounding closing regards but at some point just becomes a Facebook-chat like message exchange with smileys and stuff. Well, anyway, I noticed that when the emails start piling up you have this visual element that shows the pile as a kind of a tree. When you add to the tree the box that implies that there’s more content to the email than the part you see on first sight it becomes a kind of an ”email tree” (I don’t know what the official names for the elements are). I suspect my description might be a bit vague so please find a screen cap of the object attached.

Edit. Unfortunately I couldn’t find my original screen cap of the element, so attached you’ll find the email forest I built from the email trees.

So one day I started to think about the element as a kind of a found poetry object, an everyday visual thing that could be turned into a piece of poetry when framed in a new way. So I was just thinking if you have some kind of a copyright thing with the element? Can I use it in my poetry book or do I have to pay you like some dollars or something? It’s really strange that there is such an object that is somehow part of my everyday life but is maybe like a copyright thing. It’s kind of like a view of a pile of letters was somehow copyrighted… IDK.

One more thing. Your Google Drive service, it has this really nice visual element. You know when you are trying to upload for a preview like 15 high resolution images at the same time and the page just goes like crazy, there are 15 rotating circles at the same time on the screen. It looks kinda great! Please find attached my screen cap of the element (unfortunately I wasn’t able to make a gif version, so it’s a still picture). Is there a copyright to that? Wouldn’t that be kind of like having a copyright for the moment when your old school photos are being developed in the pool filled with that liquid stuff and the photos slowly come into view? Hah, just kidding, kind of.

Anyway, I’d be glad if you’d have the time to answer my questions!

Virpi Vairinen



Attachment 1. The Quick Sketch

the tree line (2)
The upper one is a bit exaggerated version, the lower one captures the scene better.



Attachment 2. The Email Forest




Attachment 3. The Developing/Waiting for the Preview




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