William S. Burroughs
[Writer, b. 1914, St. Louis, Missouri, d. 1997, Lawrence, Kansas.]
There is in fact something obscene and sinister about photography, a desire to imprison, to incorporate, a sexual intensity of pursuit.
Smash the control images. Smash the control machine.
Sexual arousal results from the repetition and impact of image.
Calling partisans of all nations—Cut word lines—Shift linguals—Vibrate tourists—Free doorways—Word falling—Photo falling—Break through in Grey Room. (A “message of total resistance,” 1966)
Open your mind and let the pictures out.
Nothing exists until or unless it is observed. An artist is making something exist by observing it. And his hope for other people is that they will also make it exist by observing it. I call it “creative observation.” Creative viewing.
All I had to do was find out what music picture odor brought out in the subject face I wanted. Then I took my picture just before I played the music or whatever the cue was and the subject never knew when the picture was taken since I still used the false click gimmick. Reaction time? Yes, I went into that. You see, I couldn’t just pick up the money and forget it. Better if I had. I was warned. But I couldn’t get it out of my mind. And I found the answer: allowing for reaction time there was still an interval of a few seconds unaccounted for... I was taking a picture not of the face as it is “now” but as it would be in a few seconds: I was photographing the future.
The cut-up method brings to writers the collage, which has been used by painters for fifty years. And used by the moving and still camera. In fact, all street shots from movie or still cameras are by the unpredictable factors of passersby and juxtapositions cut-ups. And photographers will tell you that often their best shots are accidents. (1978)