Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus
Julius von Bismarck, Benjamin Maus
Drawing machine illustrating a never-ending story by the use of
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 (e.g. a novel) into a stream of patent
drawings. Eight million patents – linked by over 22 million references – form the vocabulary. By using
references to earlier patents, it is possible to find paths between the patents that have been found for
word-combinations in the story. Those connections form a subtext. New visual connections and narrative layers emerge through the interweaving of the story with the depiction of technical developments.
The apparatus takes a combination of words in the story and searches for a patent document, whose
text contains those words. Then it extracts the main drawing from the patent document and draws it.
Advancing in the story, it finds the next patent document. Between the found patent and the previously drawn patent, the patents that connect the two are drawn in between. This process repeats and ingests one story after another, and generates an endless stream of patent drawings.
The first two instances of the “Perpetual Storytelling Apparatus” are using the database of the US Patent and Trademark Office. The third apparatus, which has recently been installed at the German Patent Office in Munich, uses the whole backlog of patents applied for in Germany.