Sunday, December 12, 2010

BRION GYSIN : UNSUNG HERO

William S. Burroughs, an artist of no small talent and influence, oftens overshadows the accomplishments of his partner in crime, Brion Gysin whose work in a myriad of artistic forms has served to give inspiration to a number of contemporary exploratory artists. His "cut-up" method, essentially a classic surrealist game, can seemingly be applied to almost any improvised artistic form. He is probably best know as the inventor, along with a Burroughs' associate Ian Sommerville, of the "Dreamachine," whose production of a flicker effect is said to produce visions in those who freely allow the play of light on their closed eyelids. Gysin's essentially calligraphic paintings suggest musicality. He is often name-checked by Cabaret Voltaire, 23 Skidoo, Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV, and other "industrial" artists. Genesis Breyer P-Orridge is a living "cut-up" whose devotion to Gysin's "Third Mind/Third Being" continues to influence his/her musical/artistic production. Brion Gysin's legacy has yet to be fully appreciated though it can be seen everywhere.

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