Brion Gysin: ’80s TV Star

I spy with my little i...

I spy with my little i...

Nothing is True. Everything is Permitted.

The wonderful Brion Gysin was a writer, painter, filmmaker and restaurateur. He was a friend and collaborator to William S. Burroughs. Burroughs said of Gysin, “He was the only man I have ever respected.”

If you are a frequent reader of these posts, you are no doubt already familiar with Gysin. However, despite several recent publications and a new tour of his visual art, the man remains elusive.

We were really excited to find this footage of the master at work. This video is from a late ’80’s pirate TV show out of London, England called Network 21. This is a rare chance to see Gysin’s paintings come to life as he rolls out patterns and grids before piling on layers of text and calligraphy.

The man has a way with a line…

This Network 21 episode also features: Kenny Morris talking about dreams and Genet; a Mayakovski film; a photoshoot with the Rolling Stones in drag; footage from a tattoo convention in 1985; an excerpt from Warhol’s “Trash” with Joe Dallessandro and The Sex Pistols’ famous appearance on the Bill Gundy show.

See the whole shebang at Joe Nolan’s Insomnia.

JoeNolan

Joe Nolan was born under a bad sign on June 13th in Detroit, Michigan in the last Metal Year of the Dog. Polymath, provocateur, inter-media artist, his tell-tale signs have turned up in music, visual art, journalism, poetry, fiction, video and film. A double Gemini, his interests range from the pharmacology of phenomenology to fly fishing; from mysticism to mixed martial arts; from chaos science to chaos magick. Joe Nolan's Insomnia blog republishes to some of the most read counter-culture sites on the web and the Coincidence Control Network podcast which he hosts has been downloaded more than half-a-million times.He is recording his fourth CD in Nashville, Tennessee where he lives to the east of the Cumberland river on a little wooded lot dubbed Bohemian Walnut Grove.

Latest posts by JoeNolan (see all)

  • Joenolan

    Man, I’ve watched this over and over again. I take in a lot of art, but I have really come to be a great admirer of Gysin’s paintings. I would love to see his stuff up close in a gallery.

  • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

    Man, I’ve watched this over and over again. I take in a lot of art, but I have really come to be a great admirer of Gysin’s paintings. I would love to see his stuff up close in a gallery.

    • http://disinfo.com/ Majestic

      Joe, you just missed the NYC Gysin exhibit at the New Museum:

      http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/422

      Fancy a trip to France? Brion Gysin: Dream Machine is traveling to the Institut d’art Contemporain Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes, October 16 – November 28, 2010

      • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

        I know he’s had some stuff on the road, but I haven’t been able to get hooked up. Thanks for the heads up regardless. A guy can dream… :)

  • http://disinfo.com Majestic

    Joe, you just missed the NYC Gysin exhibit at the New Museum:

    http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/422

    Fancy a trip to France? Brion Gysin: Dream Machine is traveling to the Institut d’art Contemporain Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes, October 16 – November 28, 2010

  • Joenolan

    I know he’s had some stuff on the road, but I haven’t been able to get hooked up. Thanks for the heads up regardless. A guy can dream… :)

  • Benway

    This footage is from one of Anthony Balch’s films, either ‘Ghosts at no 9’ or ‘Towers Open Fire’.

  • Benway

    This footage is from one of Anthony Balch’s films, either ‘Ghosts at no 9’ or ‘Towers Open Fire’.

  • Joenolan

    Hey Benway. Good eyes. I wasn’t sure either. I think it’s Towers Open Fire? If you video search that Network 21 series you can find other episodes. Seems they just remixed lots of sources to create these audio/video collages. How perfectly Gysinian, no? :)

  • http://joenolan.com/blog Joe Nolan

    Hey Benway. Good eyes. I wasn’t sure either. I think it’s Towers Open Fire? If you video search that Network 21 series you can find other episodes. Seems they just remixed lots of sources to create these audio/video collages. How perfectly Gysinian, no? :)

  • Gregory

    I’m waiting for Tuna Ghost to show up and call this “vapid and self-indulgent.”

    **snicker**

  • Gregory

    I’m waiting for Tuna Ghost to show up and call this “vapid and self-indulgent.”

    **snicker**