An app that rearranges your text in new, unseen ways. Write or paste your words into the ESPELIDES window, then click on one of the buttons to manipulate the words and sentences.
Developed by artist Michael Atavar, with programming by Piers Aitman and UI by Richard Scarborough.
The idea for ESPELIDES came to me at a time when I was recording all my dreams.
It's a large audience in a cinema, the rows are packed. They are all using ESPELIDES, an automatic writing game. For them it's physical, however, I am saving it on a screen, to avoid losing my written text.
The background to this apparently spontaneous idea was that, for a long time, I had been using the cut-up technique of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs. In my own work, this method frequently helps me out of tight corners, where language becomes too proscriptive. It gives me further avenues of the unconscious on which to draw.
After having the dream, I decided to make my own engine, an instant I-Ching version, if you like, of the ESPELIDES writing game – a generative tool that could develop new effects and thoughts, primarily to use in my own writing.
I find it useful for product ideas, names, titles, exercises in writing.
This is what you now see as ESPELIDES.
My intention is that the ESPELIDES algorithms create a parallel reality, a dream event, that might stimulate your own language experiments.
The previews that you see on screen (in a conscious echo of C.G Jung’s introduction to Richard Wilhelm translation of the I-Ching) use the text I am writing here as material for the ESPELIDES engine; a broken mirror image of what these paragraphs say.
Whilst the results might look at first unpromising, some sifting through prompts a few key phrases or names that jump out. The trick, as always, is to see ESPELIDES as one stage of personal process, some useful clues, rather than an instant creative solution.
'Yeaprocess', 'Swithdo', 'IphauAid' 'Newelides' (taken from the text) are just steps on the way.
This version is compatible with iOS 13. It uses a fuller set of images for the Launch Storyboard.
It also removes the blue focus outline from the input box, and tidies up the status bar area and where the logo sits.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.