November 15, 2015:
Think of the actions you perform when constructing a mosaic.
Your tiles are in a bowl. You need a red one: you fish around, find something suitable, add it to the work you're assembling. Now you need a green one, and so on. The tiles are your raw materials. The final work may be representational, or abstract.
Tristan Tzara proposed constructing poems in an analogous way by drawing words randomly from a hat. Gysin and Burroughs constructed narratives as "cut ups" where source pages are cut into quarters and the quarters re-arranged and juxtaposed to provoke new narratives. David Bowie described his version this way:
"You write down a paragraph or two describing several different subjects, creating a kind of 'story ingredients' list, I suppose, and then cut the sentences into four or five-word sections; mix 'em up and reconnect them. You can get some pretty interesting idea combinations like this. You can use them as-is or, if you have a craven need to not lose control, bounce off these ideas and write whole new sections."
These pieces explore similar techniques, using multiple strategies for selection and assembly. Many start with existing texts chosen for particular properties, say, Molly Bloom's soliloquy which ends Ulysses. Source fragments are then culled either algorithmically or according to specific aesthetic criteria, for example, phrases which I enjoy hearing spoken aloud. Although the results usually lack semantic content they're not assembled randomly. Some are constructed by hand like the mosaic analogy: I like this piece in this place. Others are computer-generated or computer-mediated. Each of these possible techniques are subsets of what George Steiner, Reginald Shepherd and others call "modals".
To my ear the results are akin but not identical to certain of the AI-generated dreams in TriadCity. TC dreams are another subset of the larger universe of possibility.