Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Cutup & Sprayback Concept

In a past life a friend of mine, Jason, was really into William Burroughs. My friend introduced me to the concept of cutting up text with scissors, then selecting bits at random and pasting them together again to form a new text. This is a trick William Burroughs learned from Brion Gysin apparently.

These experiments result in some very interesting combinations of words and phrases and lots and lots of garbage.

My preferred Cutup and Sprayback Method is to read some text and copy out phrases and words that grab my attention and paste them into my word processor. Then I rearrange the bits a bit and hit print. Cutup and Sprayback.
While not truly random, I find this method more poetically rewarding.

I am also running Google searches on randomly selected phrases in the Sprayback to see where these things lead. My previous post (below) is one such experiment. So if you see Cutup posts in the future in this Blog, you will know what I am playing with.


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