I attended William S Burroughs lectures on cut-ups at Naropa in 1976 (the summer I was cool), and was impressed with them and worked with them for a few years on and off. pasted them up and xeroxd them into little booklets and I left them in phone booths and sent them through Clay Geerdes Comix World Co-op and others working in mail art and dada.
I wont comment much because theres very little new I can say
My technique differs from Burroughs in that I consciously edit from the beginning cut.I go for odd corners of specific language, clinical or emotional, and recombine them in a way thats pretty flexible; sometimes Ill change a tense or pronoun, or sometimes I leave abrupt the angles of syntax intact. I think the cut-up preserves the content of the source; the language, and therefore, the emotion, while removing the context, and I think new use of language surprises our brains in a nice way
If any of this seems interesting to you, you should try a few. There are several cut-up engines on the internets, but I dont like them, theyre too random, and repeat sections more than once without ever building up a rhythm or tension. Its an interesting process and you can take any approach you like my friend Joey Vojtko did a lovely canvas using one inch pieces of text meticulously torn from a porn novel and in these days of easy computer access and online clip art anyone can make a broadside for the local phone post or start their own post-apocalyptic cult.
above: The CIA Stole My Brain (Plot to Enslave World) undated, early 1990s
below: Truth or Lie? By Evangelist T K Christopher (abridged) 1982