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The sound of the scissors

by rubendiaz

At the end of the seventies, William S. Burroughs used to talk to his pupils at the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics about the cut-up technic using some scissors.

He talked about some scissors and not about any other tool, it was an important detail, as far as the writer became a sort of shaman and the process was ritualized.

At least, this is the theory presented in The electronic revolution, a 1970 essay where Burroughs proposes the neutralization of the language making use of cuts, repetitions and crazy descontextualizations. Burroughs tries to delete the link between words and meanings through a sort of tape-recording extraterrestrial intelligence that records and plays rewinding and fast-forwarding sounds in the middle of the mountains.

Deconstructing language, corrupting its rhythm, extracting its meaning, spreading its entrails everywhere. The extraordinary cinematographer from Granada Val del Omar thought that the roughest feature of the language was that “no pain, no gain”. That threatens, corrupts and makes us uniform. And that’s why Val del Omar used the technic of collage as a weapon to express his scientific and poetic ideas. Collage, scissors, burst text, an all-in-one expression.

So I raised my eyes from the (e-)book and wondered why not, why not using video for this?
Why not using Youtube’s virtual scissors editor? And that’s how cut-up experiments were born.

What about you? What are waiting for? Cut up your audiovisual entrails!

This is a very free translation into English from this text written by Malaventura and Pedro Jiménez.

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