I’ve been reading a bit about “cut-up” and “fold-in” techniques. (See dadaist Tristan Tzara, painter and writer Brion Gysin and most notably, William S. Burroughs, who popularized the techniques.) These methods involve deliberately cutting/folding text and then randomly rearranging it to find hidden, meaningful prose. While doing this research, I came across a website that has application with a truly unique way of employing the cut-up technique. The app mines your Facebook text (status updates, image captions, comments – all of it) and randomly places it back together. Most are non-sensical, but some are quite poetic and thoughtful.
“The text is a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture…the writer can only imitate a gesture that is always anterior, never original.” Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author” (1977)
“All writing is in fact cut-ups. A collage of words read heard overheard. What else?” William S. Burroughs