You’ve got until the end of the month to see Brion Gysin’s Dream Machine at the New Museum. This is the first US retrospective of his work. Gysin was a friend and collaborator of William S. Burroughs. He created the Cut-Up method, where he cut up words and phrases and reassembled them to be either nonsense or oracles. Burroughs and Gysin used the Cut-Up Method to write The Third Mind, which is very hard to read. The beats talked about the third mind being what happens when two people are together, talk, share ideas.
The Dream Machine is a kinetic light sculpture that creates visions when the viewer’s eyes are closed. Read more about the show here.
The museum’s audio tour (on an ipod mini) has a soundtrack to the show by Genesis P-Orridge, a fellow weirdo who took magic lessons from Gysin. Anyone want to teach me some magic lesssons?
Oh, fug. Another good one has died. Tuli Kupferberg, poet, musician and beatnik, was a member of The Fugs, one of the best near-novelty dirty bands of all times. My dad introduced me to them, maybe not the most age-appropriate, but nevertheless made me a cooler teenager for listening to “Kill for Peace” and “Dirty Old Man” while my classmates were listening to Hole and Nirvana (ok, I was listening to them too).
Here’s a link to the Tuli Zone on the Fugs’ website. And what a website! Definitely designed by old beatniks.
Here is one of Tuli’s drawings. Hehehehe.
I can’t tell if I love Tuli more for his work with the Fugs or for his Vietnam War protest pamphlet-zine thingy called 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft. I read this through my sophmore biology class, which I guess I should have been paying more attention to, because one day when we were talking about chipmunks, I blurted out “Everyone KNOWS chipmunks aren’t real. They were created by Disney. Everything you see that you think is a chipmunk is actually a gopher.” Why would I say this? Because my dad told me that. Yep.Because it’s funny to make people believe things that aren’t true! Anyway, it’s a really good list of hilarious ways to avoid being drafted. If you can’t find it, there’s an excerpt in Ann Charters’ Portable Beat Reader, which also has some great Diane di Prima stuff, if you need an intro.
He was also a medical librarian, jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge, which inspired Allen Ginsberg to put that in his little poem Howl, and was wonderfully irreverant. Thanks, Tuli, see ya!
Posted in Art, Hilarity, History, Music
Tagged 1001 Ways to Beat the Draft, Allen Ginsberg, beatniks, Brooklyn Bridge, Diane di Prima, Dirty Old Man, Howl, Kill for Peace, poet, Portable Beat Reader, The Fugs, Tuli Kupferberg