Cut Ups and Encryption

Brion Gysin brought the cut up technique, which he found by accident when cutting into newspaper clippings, to William S. Burroughs which he developed into a method of rearranging words, sound and video. “The cut-up method brings to writers the collage, which has been used by painters for fifty years.” To William S. Burroughs, the human is the most important recording device, it is a device that simultaneously records, encrypts and disseminates. Although the mind has such power, it is unable to break away from the linear objectives set forth by the system in which it has developed. Possibly Mr. Burroughs is trying to find a spontaneous way for the writer and the individual which operates in words to be able to break away from syntactical structures and explore the contents of the human recording machine.

1966, UK, 18′ 45″, Black & White
Cinematography: Antony Balch
Screenplay: William S. Burroughs
Cast: William S. Burroughs, Brion Gysin


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