Writing is a process of using morpheme to compose. In our daily life, we are seldom aware of our act of combining morphemes. When we write, we think in terms of phrasal expressions to express our thought, but not in terms of one morpheme combined with another morpheme. For example, 粉 can combine with many words to give different meanings such as 粉紅 (pink), 粉色 (pastel colors), 粉飾 (to decorate), 粉碎 (to shatter), 粉蝶 (butterflies)… etc. That is, different combinations would change the function of the same morpheme and produce very different meanings. In this machine, we explore the freedom of writing within texts in our database. You don’t have the autonomy to write down what exactly occurs in your mind, but in the machine, you can have other kinds of freedom to create new products from a single product, to compose with set constraints, and experience the combinatorial formation of morphemes.
In our writing machine, we are mainly playing with Chinese characters as morphemes. Every time you click a morpheme, all the texts on the interface re-shuffle. Users can make use of these morphemes to recreate a passage/ story with the text we have built into the machine’s database, which is formed by two kinds of text – the paragraph in Article 23 of the Basic Law and text from some erotica. Millions of combinatorial probabilities appear. Also, every time the user click a single text, the text he chooses will be stored back inside an array which will be saved later on when the user wants to end the game.
There is also the quality of self-production in this writing machine where a simple rule is set. The machine has preset some text (A) (e.g. verbs) to trigger other preset text (B) to appear later, and text (B) will appear alone on the interface after countdown from 10 to 1. Users should choose 10 morphemes to compose a sentence that matches with text (B), and when the users click it, text (B) will appear consequently inside the array. The formula that produces each output is saved and can be viewed by the users.