The “Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus” is a drawing machine illustrating a never-ending story by the use of patent drawings.

The machine translates words of a text into patent drawings. Seven million patents — linked by over 22 million references — form the vocabulary. By using references to earlier patents, it is possible to find paths between arbitrary patents. They form a kind of subtext.

New visual connections and narrative layers emerge through the interweaving of the story with the depiction of technical developments.

Der „Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus“ ist eine Zeichenmaschine, die durch Patentzeichnungen eine unendliche Geschichte illustriert.

Die Wörter eines Textes werden durch die Maschine in Patentzeichnungen übersetzt. Das Vokabular bilden über 7 Millionen Patente aus behördlichen Datenbanken, die über 22 Millionen Verweise miteinander verknüpft sind. Durch die Verweise auf frühere Patente lassen sich Verwandtschaftspfade zwischen beliebigen Patenten finden, die eine Art Subtext bilden.

Durch die Verwebung der Geschichte mit den Darstellungen technischer Entwicklungen entstehen neue visuelle Zusammenhänge und Erzählebenen.

Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus

Basic procedure

  1. The program downloads and parses a part of the text of a recent best-selling book.

  2. The algorithm eliminates all insignificant words like "I", "and", "to", "for", "the", etc. The remaining words and their combinations are the keywords for the patent drawings.

  3. Using the keywords in chronological order, it searches for the key-patents.

  4. The program now searches for a path connecting the found key patents. This is possible because every patent contains several references to older patents - the so-called "prior art".

  5. All key-patents and the patents connecting them semantically are arranged and printed.

  6. Goto step 1.

Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus - Diagram

Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus - Detail