[NetBehaviour] On Automatic Writing.

marc 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.


More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list