We cannot imagine all possibilities, and so need process to help us discover new spaces and ideas. The Third Mind is the description of the ‘cut-up’ technique developed to create just such a scenario.
Rooted in the Dada and Futurist movements, with connections to Surrealism and concrete poetry, the process was invented by painter Brion Gysin. Immediately adopted by William Burroughs, it became vital to many left-field practitioners of the written word throughout the 1960s, especially among Beat poets.
The technique revolved around the combining of two disparate pieces of text and ironing out the joins to form one fluid text of unimagined possibilities.
The concept of connecting two familiar things to produce an unexpected ‘third space’ was, and continues to be, a huge influence on my personal work and development, which I extended into visual space.
The stagnant genericism and blandness of modern society is crying out for intervention, and the necessary and liberating risk of invention through cut-up is an invaluable route towards imagining new ideas as a way of evolving as a culture.