Brion Gysin, cut-ups, and contemporary painting: Narrating experience

TitleBrion Gysin, cut-ups, and contemporary painting: Narrating experience
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBaryshnikova, D
JournalFrontiers of Narrative Studies
Paginations126 - s145
Date Published2018///
ISBN Number2509-4882
KeywordsCognitive Narratology, Cut-ups, Enactivism, Experimental prose, Representation of mind

In the early 1960 s Brion Gysin, while experimenting in various genres and media, “re-invented” the cut-up technique that first had appeared in the 1910-1920s in Dadaists art practices. The accidental selection of texts’ or visuals’ fragments and the randomness in their combination in cut-ups were aimed to represent multiple experiences occupying the human mind. Methodologically I draw upon “natural” narratology developed by Monika Fludernik, who redefines narrativity in terms of experientiality. Correspondingly, cut-up technique can be regarded as a means of representing human perception and other mental processes (unobservable directly), especially by mapping the simultaneity of external observations and internal reflections that exist in constant relationships between minds and their environments. The paper brings into correlation the enactivist idea of cognition without content, elaborated by Daniel D. Hutto and Eric Myin, with the idea that cut-up narratives in a sense also have no content. As there are no consistent and coherent story in cut-ups, there could be difficult for the reader to produce a clear mental representation of what is happening in the text. My paper proposes a new reading of texts that initially seem to be uncommunicative.


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