Grasshopper Enterprises

xperimental division

Batmemes and Oulipo

oulipoBatmemes was inspired, and has taken some of its techniques, from a movement in France in the 60’s known as Oulipo (for Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle, or workshop for potential literature.)

This movement experimented with the pinions underlying language. It explored boundaries of creativity that weren’t anchored to the limited experiences and conditioning which influence most of our thinking down well traveled neural paths. This is similar, also, to the approach of Mozart and his experiments with number for structure and key.

These processes aren’t random, like the monkeys and typewriters, but rather they jump or map from one structure to another. Batmemes provides automatic mappings to several “linguistic domains” using the following techniques:

  • Transformers like displacing noun, verb, adverb and adjective references forward or backward in dictionary sequence; mapping based on ogham numerological equivalencies, the use of formulas from chaos math to create “strange attractor” connections (like black holes in linguistic topology.) Shifting meanings topologically through opposites, simularities, rhymes.
  • Specific texts (the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe and Robert Browning) have been “digested” by BatMemes and can be used as “tints” that will influence the final transformation in patterns similar to the patterns found in these works. On the desktop you can use your own sources.
  • Generators use frameworks like a phrase or aphorism, haiku, verse or wildcards to create meanings from scratch. Or at least starting points for transformations
  • The range of vocabulary for transforms can be tweaked. From eloquatious to the more common place.

For more information on Oulipo check resources in the Batmemes help file or this book on Amazon.