The cut-up technique

The cut up technique involves cutting up a piece of writing into words or phrases and rearranging them to create a new text. The initial piece of writing could be creative or an article taken from a newspaper or magazine.


The technique adds an element of chance into writing and can lead to new ideas and a different perspective on language.
The technique was first made popular by Dadaists in the 1920s who were inspired by collage and photomontage. It was later adopted by William Burroughs in the 1960s to write The Nova Trilogy, a series of experimental novels. A number of painters, filmmakers and musicians have also applied the approach to their craft.


Check out this video of the cut-up technique in action.