Cognitive experimentation

Painting - Automatic writing - Cyril Foussé

Automatic writing - Origins

Automatic writing is a corpus of technics that has been developed and used mainly for literature purposes by André Breton and the surrealists during the first half of the past century. It consists of practices that liberate from the censorship exerted upon unconsciousness thanks to unscheduled or non-conditioning creative acts that let the author unworried by the immediate or the final meaning of his composition. The lack of control, the speed of the composition and the automatism of it allow a direct expression of the unconsciousness, who is the true author. Here is for the principle.
For instance are written as quickly as possible all the words passing by the spirit without analyzing any of them, avoiding the reject of any, forgetting to work on the syntax or the grammar, and paying no attention to the logical articulation of the writing.
Another technic consists of the collaboration of several authors acting together without any communication between themselves in order to compose a text, everyone of them writing a sentence without to have any idea of the anterior contributions, the surprise of the common composition being brought only by the final reading. Everyone is completely free to write anything and the shared sheet is pledged progressively to dissimulate the former interventions, so that the already written does not influence the next one writers. This very simple algorithm has been named "exquisite cadaver" by the surrealists as it provides astonishing cognitive results.
The so-called "surrealists" painters have been impregnated by those experiments and reflexions where the principle of reality isn´t the determinant or the main subject of the creation - especially after the fauvism, the impressionism or the cubism, just to name a few pictorial movements - and they did not hesitated anymore afterward to develop their proper oneiric universes, not necessarily related to the world in a rational manner anymore.

Index of textes

Cognitive experimentation by automatic writing

Automatic painting - A use

Cognitive Sciences lexical and external links