Successometer... Burroughs... Backmasking

Forget the Goatskin certificate stamped with "first class honours," forget job offers and internships, Google is the new commander and chief when it comes to post graduate success.
That's right I Google myself when I am bored! And others it is true. But that is only because I rely on Google to indicate/gauge my own success. And at the minute I am feeling pretty swell as I have just discovered that one of my zines "Altered Meanings," is included in UWE (Bristol)'s Artist Book Special Collections.

William S. Burroughs believed that when you rearrange text you find a new, more honest meaning. Three notable Burrough's books were written in this way and are now known as the Cut Up/Nova Trilogy. Messages can be hidden but pertrude on a subconscious level. Many other Authors and artists have adopted this technique. Similarly hidden meanings and honesty are believed to be found in back masking (famously adopted by The Beatles and famously not adopted by Led Zeppelin "If there's a bustle in youre hedgerow, don't be alarmed now," becomes "Here's to my sweet Satan, I sing because I live with Satan" hmm) and there is a whole form of psycho analysis based around this technique. Again it can be found in images, subtle placement of images, or images flashing rapidly in between frames on film all are said to speak to the subconscious and somewhat controversially. Back to Burroughs, the man was fascinated with both mind control and how the 'man' wishes to control and cure the human condition - whether this is through machine, medicine, lobotomy, sex...

"but words are still the principal instruments of control. Suggestions are words. Persuasions are words. Orders are words. No control machine  so far devised can operate without words, and any control machine which attempts to do so relying entirely on external force or entirely on physical control of the mind wil soon encounter the limits of control."

Language is most definitely a virus that controls us, it has placed the question of purpose into our mouths. It has lead us to become destructive. It has lead us to become paranoid. It is probably innate. Language is the human condition.

I am interested in how the subconscious speaks to the conscious though dreams, through literacy, through free flow writing, self expression, dreams and spontaneity.  How it sort of irons out our conscious thoughts and can almost become a new voice of reason or chaos respectively. This Altered Meanings project is ongoing so watch this space for more developments.

1 comment:

Caitlin said...

i just googled myself after reading this! haha! i rule google images! xxc