Show 501: William Burroughs and Body Broadcasting (Wave Farm/WGXC)

American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer William S. Burroughs is sonically explored in this episode. Born 100 years ago and died in 1997, Burroughs’ cut-up period — the mid-1950s to mid-1960s — is explored here, with a special focus on Burroughs use of bodies and diseases as transmission metaphors. Ronald De Feo wrote in Modern Occasions in 1972, “in ‘The Ticket that Exploded,’ he scatters among his short-winded and repetitive fantasies a metaphysics, an eschatology, a theory of possession by demonic tape recorders, a theory of sexuality, an assault on advertising as a form of brainwashing, the usual quota of flashbulb-and-firecracker sodomies, and some suggestions for mind-changing party games.” This show cuts-up Burroughs’ words and mixes them with other odd sounds and stories. Two in particular about the body as transmitter or receiver. The episode samples Lucille Ball, talking about her molar radio, and an episode of the 1960s American television show “Gilligan’s Island” in which the title character’s tooth becomes a radio receiver. Then radio artist Anna Friz talks about whale radio, and other sonic signals sent by underwater creatures, from a talk in Toronto, Canada at the “Trans-X Transmission Art Symposium.” Burroughs words on disease, bodies, and transmission are cut-up throughout the show. Produced by Tom Roe from Wave Farm and WGXC in New York, in the United States.

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