[NetBehaviour] On Automatic Writing.
marc.garrett at furtherfield.org
Tue Nov 21 10:30:42 CET 2006
On Automatic Writing.
Before John C. Lilly went cuckoo and started hacking the language of
dolphins, he invented the sensory-deprivation tank and found out that
the mind is a self-recursive black box returning images all by itself
when its default interpretive mode is not called for. Automatic writing,
as one application of automatism, predates Lilly as a longstanding
technique of running the mind in self-unpacking freefall. Andre Breton
(1896-1966) explained automatism as "the true functioning of thought.
The dictation of thought, in the absence of all control by reason,
excluding any aesthetic or moral preoccupation". Automatic writing
became the power-drill in the arsenal of games and automatist strategies
developed by Surrealism, enabling them to poke holes in the fabric of
consensus reality. In our times automatic writing has been tucked away
as a curiosity, as exotica of the mind belonging on the scrap yard of
creativity, far removed from high-art, tainted by associations with
discredited Vienna psychologists. Outlining the history of automatic
writing, however, means outlining the history of the excavation of the
origins of creativity.
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