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12/28/2009: The Works of Brion Gysin

December 29, 2009
Program name: 

A Different Nature

Air date: 

12/28/2009

Tonight on A Different Nature, a look at the works of Brion Gysin.
He is perhaps best known as a collaborative partner of William S. Burroughs and for introducing him to the cut-up technique.
Brion worked in painting, collage, calligraphic art, sound poetry and writing, but in his life never achieved the recognition that his peers did, despite his efforts latter in life and those of Burroughs, who frequently championed Gysin as his inspiration during what they called their “Third Mind” era.
Perhaps one of Gysin’s most enduring – and curious – inventions is the Dream Machine. Part kinetic sculpture, part spiritual shrine, the Dream Machine was intended to create a drugless high and lead to mystic visions. Gysin hoped it would replace the television in people’s homes and believed it was art taken to the logical apex – that it was the end of art. The Dream Machine remains an esoteric oddity among hipsters and is shrouded in mystery and intrigue to this day.
He also collaborated with many musicians, most notably Jazz saxophonist Steve Lacey.
Brion Gysin passed away in Paris in 1986.

Listen

Download

Here’s a link to an online, virtual Dream Machine: http://www.netliberty.net/dreamachine.html

Please note: This can cause Photosensitive epilepsy in some people, depending on the frequency chosen.

Playlist (Track/Artist – Album – Label):

Hour one:
In the Beginning Was the Word – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Thoughts on the BBC – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
I’ve Come to Free the Words – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Thoughts on Censorship – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Where’s That Word – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
I Am That I Am – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Pistol Poem – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Pistol Poem Pt. 2 – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Recalling All Active Agents – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
No Poets Don’t Own Words – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Thoughts on Jean Genet – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Readings at October Galleries – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Thoughts on Surrealists – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Thoughts on Modern Art – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Thoughts on the Value of Art – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Sound Poem – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics    
Duet – Recordings 1960-1981 – Perdition Plastics
Side A – Poems of Poems – Alga Marghen

Hour two:
Dream machine mix (excerpt from documentary Flicker mixed with Throbbing Gristle from Heathen Earth)
Thoughts on the Dream Machine – Brion Gysin – Recordings 1960-1981
Dream Machine – Brion Gysin – Self-Portrait Jumping – Made To Measure
Neglected Interview segment (1981 Staalplat cassette)
Kick That Habit, Junk Is No Good Baby, Somebody Special, & Blue Baboon- The Nova Convention
Role of an artist Interview segment (1981 Staalplat cassette)
Mutate Interview segment (1981 Staalplat cassette)              
Art as criminal act – Interview segment (1981 Staalplat cassette)       
Underrated? Interview segment (1981 Staalplat cassette)
Junk is no good baby (Permutations) – Steve Lacy Six with Brion Gysin – Lacy and Gysin: Songs – hat ART
Kick that habit man (Permutations)) – Steve Lacy Six with Brion Gysin – Lacy and Gysin: Songs – hat ART
I don’t work you dig (Permutations)) – Steve Lacy Six with Brion Gysin – Lacy and Gysin: Songs – hat ART
What’s your daily life like? Interview segment (1981 Staalplat cassette)
Kick – Brion Gysin/Ramuntcha Matta/Don Cherry – Self-Portrait Jumping
Junk – Brion Gysin – Self-Portrait Jumping – Made To Measure
Somebody Special – Steve Lacy Six with Brion Gysin – Lacy and Gysin: Songs – hat ART

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3 comments

  1. I’m very excited by this, of course. I haven’t had a good seizure in years!


  2. I saw the Dream Machine displayed at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1996 along with an exhibition of art works by Burroughs: his shot gun “paintings” and graphic novel-like framed pages. I was invited to attend, along with hundreds, a reception for WSB. Allen Ginsberg was there and Gary Snyder and, if memory serves, Robert Creeley. Probably the last time all four were together. They stood in the middle of the open courtyard in a circle facing eachother swapping memories or itineraries for all I knew. Every now and then a mortal would buzz up to the circle and pay tribute and leave. I enjoyed watching from across the courtyard, too dumbed to come up with any witticism as a pretext for intruding upon the magic circle. I still sometimes, like now, pretend to discern their easy jesters. It was truely, for all present, a momentous occasion.

    One thing about the Dream Machine, though. It was set up in a darkened room except for the spinning lights shooting from variegated slots and openings of the turning, man-sized conical machine. It in no way induced any kind of altered state within me or any one that I observed at the exhibit.

    Now, to be fair, the setting may not have been right. Maybe if I were alone or in a small group all on the same wave length with the machine. Maybe after fasting for 3 days. Maybe after smoking a joint. Or dropping. Sort of like the old Swedish folk tale about Nail Soup. The nail, though more than, really, just a pretext could also be called a catalyst if a placebo could be considered an agent for change as well.

    I always felt that the explanations of artists for their works were many times more creative than their works. Sometimes you just want to say, “Save the bird seed for the pigeons.”

    In the same vein, I never believed that Burroughs believed that language was a virus. But I did believe that he was enough of a master anti-propagandist to make that statement semantically true by paradox.


  3. Reblogged this on enemymindcontrol.



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