Imperium Pictures is currently completing The Gent (a feature starring Genesis P-Orridge, Alex Grey, Howard Zinn et al) and a short on solid rocket fuel developer/occultist Jack Parsons in which British director Ken Russell portrays Aleister Crowley.
Tag Archives | William S. Burroughs
In 1963, William S. Burroughs wrote down his photographic manifesto: “Take. Rearrange. Take.” For Burroughs, photography wasn’t an art form so much as it was a weapon he employed to disrupt time.
Ideas about the interactions between time, space, words and images will be familiar to any reader of Burroughs’ works, but it’s less likely that those same readers will recognize the camera-created images on display in Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs. Published by Photographers’ Gallery of London and Prestel, the book is co-edited by Particia Allmer and John Sears who curated a show of Burroughs photographs at Photographers’ Gallery earlier this year. The new book also features an essay by erstwhile Beat biographer Barry Miles.
The Taking Shots title refers directly to Burroughs’ no-nonsense approach to the camera, but also to the artist’s famous addictions to heroin and guns. Among Burroughs’ visual creations, his shotgun paintings are much more familiar than these pictures, but his collaged images created by re-photographing arrangements of photographs often burst and scatter with the same energy.… Read the rest
Back in 1993, The Junky’s Christmas by William S. Burroughs, was made into a short claymation film. It was directed by Nick Donkin and Melodie McDaniel, produced by Francis Ford Coppola, and narrated by Mr. Burroughs himself. If you haven’t already watched it, it’s a treat for Burroughs and animation fans alike.
You can watch the short film in its entirety below:
h/t Dangerous Minds.
Music video by William S. Burroughs performing A Thanksgiving Prayer. (C) 1990 The Island Def Jam Music Group
A meditation on William S. Burroughs’ concept of the “magical universe” and his use of audio/visual equipment as magical weapons against the London Moka Bar.
Imperium Pictures is currently completing The Gent (a feature starring Genesis P-Orridge, Alex Grey, Ira Cohen et al) and a short on solid rocket fuel developer/occultist Jack Parsons in which British director Ken Russell portrays Aleister Crowley.
In a recent post I mentioned the January opening of the new photography exhibition Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs. I’ve just received a copy of the catalog and I’m planning a review of the volume in an upcoming post or on an episode of Coincidence Control Network.
In the meantime, here is a very insightful little overview of the show featuring the curators at The Photographers Gallery, London. While Burroughs’ paintings are well-known, his work as a photographer is just beginning to be examined and understood. This interview was shot during the installation of the exhibition and it reveals Burroughs’ work behind the camera to be both an extension of the cut-up techniques he developed with the artist and writer Brion Gysin, and the even earlier aesthetic lessons Bill learned as a boy studying the flower arrangements his mother created for their St. Louis home.
Stay Awake!… Read the rest
An interview with Victor Bockris on his book Beat Punks
by Phil Weaver
I’m a huge fan of Victor Bockris’ book Beat Punks, a collection of interviews and photographs documenting the relationship between the Beat generation and the punk movement in the 1970s downtown New York scene. The book does a great job of illustrating the cross-pollination of two generations (’50s Beats and ’70s punks) that resulted in one of the most extraordinary cultural flowerings of the 20th century. I recently talked to Bockris about some of the ideas behind the book, and I was pleased to hear he’s about to begin work on a follow up with interlinking prose. He didn’t want to give away too much about the forthcoming book, so I proposed a general interview on the history of the counterculture’s clashes with the establishment in the mid-to-late 20th century. Burroughs was the through-line in a cultural revolution that began in the ’50s with the Beats, blossomed in the psychedelic explosion of the late ’60s, peaked in the ’70s with the Beat-Punk fusion, burned out in the neoconservative revolution of the ’80s and was briefly revived by Kurt Cobain and the alternative wave of the early ’90s.… Read the rest
You’d think with my level of obsessive music nerdiness I’d have read a bunch of musician biographies at this point in my life but you’d be completely wrong. I listen to so many bands that there aren’t many I care enough about to devote that level of energy to, but being a fan since I was a teenager, Ministry: The Last Gospels According to Al Jourgensen was something I couldn’t resist. And it’s not like I read it because of the music really. I was more curious as to how a long time heroin addict is not only still alive after all these years but also continues to put out quality shit for the most part.
I remember reading an interview nearly a decade ago where he was talking about cleaning up off smack while recording and thinking to myself: errr, that guy was strung out back in the 90’s. I can’t vouch for his recent output but both Animositsomina and Houses of the Molé which came out in the early 2000’s were both surprisingly solid.… Read the rest
The nineties saw a lot of alternative bands not only wear their influences on their sleeves, but also bring them up on stage and into the studio. William S. Burroughs was one such luminary, appearing on Tom Waits’ 1993 The Black Rider, a collaboration with Kurt Cobain titled “Priest They Called Him,” and September Songs, a 1997 Kurt Weill tribute album featuring the likes of PJ Harvey, Nick Cave, Elvis Costello, and Lou Reed. In 1996, Burroughs got together with R.E.M. for a cover of their “Star Me Kitten” from ‘92’s Automatic for the People.
David S. Wills is the author of “Scientologist! William S. Burroughs and the ‘Weird Cult'”, a book that explores the mostly lost history of Burroughs’ involvement with the Church of Scientology. Wills is also the founder of “Beatdom” (www.beatdom.com), a magazine devoted to Beat history and culture. Note: David called in from Cambodia and didn’t have a strong enough connection for a video interview.