Cut-up Technique

The cut-up technique (French: découpé) is an aleatory literary technique in which a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. The concept can be traced to at least the Dadaists of the 1920s, but was popularized in the late 1950s and early 1960s by writer William S. Burroughs, and has since been used in a wide variety of contexts.

The cut-up is a literary technique (or genre), invented by author and artist Brion Gysin and the English mathematician Ian Sommerville, and experimented by the American writer William S. Burroughs, where a original text is cut into random fragments and then these are rearranged to produce a new text.

The cut-up is closely linked to the lifestyle and philosophy of the Beat Generation defined by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac. It tries to reproduce the visions due to hallucinogens, the spatio-temporal distortions of the thought under toxic influence (phenomenon of déjà-vu in particular). Aesthetically, the cut-up is close to pop-art, happenings and post-war surrealism (Henri Michaux for example) and his quest to explore the unconscious. Philosophically, Burroughs sees in it the culmination of language as a virus and writing as a letting go of consciousness (he proclaims “language is a virus”).

The precedent of the cut-up technique was born in the gathering of Dadaism from the 1920’s. Tristan Tsara puts the word cut out from the newspaper article in the bag and practiced making poetry using the randomly extracted words Zarra wrote an article called “the word in the hat” about that method ing.

Gil J. Wolman (Gil J. Wolman) developed this technique as part of his own creation of Retrism. In the 1950’s, painter and author Brion Gysin developed from accidental discovery to complete cut-up technique. When he cut a newspaper with a razor blade, he kept a newspaper stacked so that the table would not be damaged. When the work was over, Gyšin noticed that the newspapers laid down were in an interesting juxtaposition state. Therefore, deliberately cutting articles of newspapers, arranging at random, the poem “Minutes to Go” is completed. Unedited • unchanged cut-up was logical and meaningful prose. South African poet Sinclair Beiles also used the cut-up technique and was a co-author of “Minutes a Go”. Argentinean novelist Julio Cortasar also used the cut-up technique in “Rock Rock” (Rayuela).

Gyšin introduced the cut-up technique to William S. Burroughs at the Beat Hotel. The two later applied the cut-up technique to the printed media and audio recording. Contents and hypotheses potentially contained in the material considered efforts to decipher it, thinking that the true meaning of the text might be found with a technique like cut-up. In addition, Burroughs suggested that the cut-up technique might be effective for the speech of divination. “When you cut the present, the future (the secret) will leak” . Burroughs further developed the fold-in technique.

Burroughs lists works by T. S. Elliot’s long poem “Wastelands” (1922) and John Dos Pasos as a prototype cut-up work. In 1977, Burroughs and Gysin published “The Third Mind” which gathered essay on the cut-up work and its form.

The cut-up and the closely associated fold-in are the two main techniques:

Cut-up is performed by taking a finished and fully linear text and cutting it in pieces with a few or single words on each piece. The resulting pieces are then rearranged into a new text.

Fold-in is the technique of taking two sheets of linear text (with the same linespacing), folding each sheet in half vertically and combining with the other, then reading across the resulting page, such as in The Third Mind. It is Burroughs and Gysin’s joint development.

Cut-up and fold-in, which is closely related to it, is a creative style as an attempt to dismantle the straight speech of ordinary literary. It is assembled by using a common typewriter.

Cut-ups are performed by using completed complete linear text (printed on paper) to break it into a few or a single word. Then the fragments that are broken up are reassembled into new text. This reorganization often becomes a surprising new phrase. The usual way is to cut the paper with text printed on it into four (rectangle), rearrange them, change random words with improvised and innovative creatures, write mixed prose with a typewriter It is to cause it.

Fold-in uses two different papers with linear text printed. Cut each into two, paste them, then read through what you can. The completed text is a mixture of two themes, which makes decoding a little difficult.

The technique assumed and creative of cut-up Art:
fragments of texts from other authors sometimes added to the cut out portions of the original text;
non-original texts cut and rearranged (collages);
creat base on the literal of a text belonging to another author.

In Literature:
A precedent of the technique occurred during a Dadaist rally in the 1920s in which Tristan Tzara offered to create a poem on the spot by pulling words at random from a hat. Collage, which was popularized roughly contemporaneously with the Surrealist movement, sometimes incorporated texts such as newspapers or brochures. Prior to this event, the technique had been published in an issue of 391 in the poem by Tzara, dada manifesto on feeble love and bitter love under the sub-title, To Make a Dadaist Poem.

William Burroughs cited T. S. Eliot’s poem, The Waste Land (1922) and John Dos Passos’ U.S.A. trilogy, which incorporated newspaper clippings, as early examples of the cut ups he popularized.

Gil J. Wolman developed cut-up techniques as part of his lettrist practice in the early 1950s.

Also in the 1950s, painter and writer Brion Gysin more fully developed the cut-up method after accidentally re-discovering it. He had placed layers of newspapers as a mat to protect a tabletop from being scratched while he cut papers with a razor blade. Upon cutting through the newspapers, Gysin noticed that the sliced layers offered interesting juxtapositions of text and image. He began deliberately cutting newspaper articles into sections, which he randomly rearranged. The book Minutes to Go resulted from his initial cut-up experiment: unedited and unchanged cut-ups which emerged as coherent and meaningful prose. South African poet Sinclair Beiles also used this technique and co-authored Minutes To Go.

Gysin introduced Burroughs to the technique at the Beat Hotel. The pair later applied the technique to printed media and audio recordings in an effort to decode the material’s implicit content, hypothesizing that such a technique could be used to discover the true meaning of a given text. Burroughs also suggested cut-ups may be effective as a form of divination saying, “When you cut into the present the future leaks out.” Burroughs also further developed the “fold-in” technique. In 1977, Burroughs and Gysin published The Third Mind, a collection of cut-up writings and essays on the form. Jeff Nuttall’s publication My Own Mag was another important outlet for the then-radical technique.

In an interview, Alan Burns noted that for Europe After The Rain (1965) and subsequent novels he used a version of cut-ups: “I did not actually use scissors, but I folded pages, read across columns, and so on, discovering for myself many of the techniques Burroughs and Gysin describe”.

Argentine writer Julio Cortázar often used cut ups in his 1963 novel Hopscotch.

In 1969, poets Howard W. Bergerson and J. A. Lindon developed a cut-up technique known as vocabularyclept poetry, in which a poem is formed by taking all the words of an existing poem and rearranging them, often preserving the metre and stanza lengths.

A drama scripted for five voices by performance poet Hedwig Gorski in 1977 originated the idea of creating poetry only for performance instead of for print publication. The “neo-verse drama” titled Booby, Mama! written for “guerilla theater” performances in public places used a combination of newspaper cut-ups that were edited and choreographed for a troupe of non-professional street actors.

Kathy Acker, a literary and intermedia artist, sampled external sources and reconfigured them into the creation of shifting versions of her own constructed identity. In her late 1970s novel Blood and Guts in High School, Acker explored literary cut-up and appropriation as an integral part of her method.

In Music:
From the early 1970s, David Bowie used cut-ups to create some of his lyrics. Thom Yorke applied a similar method in Radiohead’s Kid A (2000) album, writing single lines, putting them into a hat, and drawing them out at random while the band rehearsed the songs. Perhaps indicative of Thom Yorke’s influences, instructions for “How to make a Dada poem” appeared on Radiohead’s website at this time.

Sampling-based music genres, such as hip-hop and electronic music, use techniques similar to cut-ups. In order to make new songs by mixing, DJs “digging” records (fishing) over time to collect ambiguous and interesting break beats, vocals and other pieces. Musique Concrete also uses techniques such as cutting, re-arranging and re-editing sounds.

A similar remix technique by author Jeff Nuun is based on Dub. That technique using the “Cobralingus” system breaks texts, changes the spelling of individual words, mixes, and makes a story.

Tom Yokes of Radiohead returned to the example of Tsarada’s Dadaism and applied the technique similar to cut-up to the album “Kid A” (2000). When the band was rehearsing, I wrote a line, put it in my hat and pulled out randomly.

In the movie “Downtown 81”, Tuxedomoon (Tuxedomoon) performs a similar technique to read phrases of newspaper articles cut apart.

The online subculture of mashup (Bastard Pop) uses a technique similar to the fold-in technique of mixing a musician’s instrumental track and another musician’s vocal track.
In 1971, Burroughs gave Genesis P. Olidge a cut-up technique as a method of “altering reality”. The explanation of Burroughs was that everything was recorded, and if it was recorded it could be edited (P – Orridge, 2003). P • Olige used cut-up for a long time as a philosophy as art, music and furthermore a way of life.

American band, Interpol uses a technique similar to cut-up in the video of “Heinrich Maneuver” (included in the album “HOW LOVE TO ADMYER”). When a woman walking in slow motion is run over by a bus, a lot of people around are witnessing the accident at different times. In one example, a man who runs to warn a woman from behind stops thinking that a woman has been run over, but the woman is still walking.

The lyrics written by ART – SCHOOL ‘s Kinoshita Riki who was strongly influenced by the above mentioned Burroughs and Kurt Cobain also use cut – up techniques widely. Their tendency is particularly noticeable in their early works, and songs are composed entirely of lyrics using cut-up techniques.

At the the drive in, Mars Volta guitarist Omar Rodriguez Lopez adopts a method of completing a song using a method of joining together the phrases made by himself and members by cut-up. Therefore, other members are forced to play without knowing what kind of song will be their play at the time of recording.

Stephen Mallinder of Cabaret Voltaire reported to Inpress magazine’s Andrez Bergen that “I do think the manipulation of sound in our early days – the physical act of cutting up tapes, creating tape loops and all that – has a strong reference to Burroughs and Gysin.”

In Film:
Antony Balch and Burroughs created a collaboration film, The Cut-Ups that opened in London in 1967. This was part of an abandoned project called Guerrilla Conditions meant as a documentary on Burroughs and filmed throughout 1961-1965. Inspired by Burroughs’ and Gysin’s technique of cutting up text and rearranging it in random order, Balch had an editor cut his footage for the documentary into little pieces and impose no control over its reassembly. The film opened at Oxford Street’s Cinephone cinema and had a disturbing reaction. Many audience members claimed the film made them ill, others demanded their money back, while some just stumbled out of the cinema ranting “it’s disgusting”. Other cut-up films include Ghost at n°9 (Paris) (1963–72), a posthumously released short film compiled from reels found at Balch’s office after his death, and William Buys a Parrott (1982), Bill and Tony (1972), Towers Open Fire (1963) and The Junky’s Christmas (1966).

In Email:
In email spam tactics, randomly generated text is used to reverse the Bayesian filter.

Then I am walking, the first question of course, how to get dry again: they me as I walked, the remembrance of my churlishness and that I must confidence between himself and Mrs. Micawber. After which, he for his dagger till his hand gripped it. he spoke. I kissed her, and my baby brother, and was very sorry then;

Then, from sea to shining sea, the God – King sang the praises of teflon, and with his face to the sunshine, he churned lots of butter.

These texts are called “spamoetry” (spam poetry) or “spam art”. Text is often taken from existing books and is obviously a cut-up technique.

In Art:
Cutup is a group of London-based artists, whose work mainly revolves around the manipulation of billboard advertisements. Their first works consisted of removing a billboard, painstakingly cutting it up into roughly 4000 small rectangles, each one in essence a pixel, and then reassembling the billboard.

More recently, Cutup have started other projects, such as replacing small bus-shelter advertisements with a drilled sheet of wood. The illuminating back lights that turn on at dusk reveal an image, as the many holes light up against the dark background.

Although they mainly deal with art on the street, the group have also created installations, including setting 96 different alarm clocks one a minute apart and sound installations, made up of 94 speakers, mini disks and circuit boards.