William S. Burroughs Multimedia

Video and Audio of William S. Burroughs

One of the many things that make William S. Burroughs unique among writers is the fact that he spent a lot of his creative energy not writing, presumably as a way to accomplish his mission of “rubbing out the word.” Burroughs painted, experimented with collage, manipulated tape recordings, collaborated on film projects, toyed with weird contraptions like the orgone accumulator and Brion Gysin’s dream machine. His interest in technology ran from the sophisticated down to the homely, as his usage of scissors and guns can attest. Contemplating the extraliterary range of Burroughs’ work, you can’t help but get the sense that he accomplished in aesthetics what Malcolm X sought to accomplish in politics with the slogan “by any means necessary.” Burroughs may have been a writer, but for him the tools of the trade were not confined to typewriters or pens. He wrote with anything that could make a mark or leave a trace, a tape effect or a shotgun blast.

Accordingly, although there are many good collections of Burroughs audio online, RealityStudio has sought to make available some of his other multimedia, particularly his video. Please note that there some interesting DVDs available for those interested in further exploring Burroughs’ multimedia work, and RealityStudio recommends those put out by ScreenEdge in particular.

Note: The original version of this page, published in 2006, contained a number of media files. The arrival of YouTube has since made most of those obsolete and in 2011 the files were removed. Here is a link to William Burroughs videos on YouTube.

Burroughs / Balch Video Experiment

Read about the experiment and watch the video.

This video experiment created by Jan Herman features filmmaker Antony Balch projecting the film “Bill and Tony” on Burroughs’ face. Prior to appearing here on RealityStudio, it had never been seen by anyone but the participants.

Burroughs Filmography

There are any number of filmographies available online, but the extensive Burroughs filmography at Internet Movie Database has fast become the authoritative one.

11 thoughts on “William S. Burroughs Multimedia

  1. check out Naropa University’s Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics’ audio collection – digitized and available for everyone, for free at http://www.archive.org (the internet archive). click under ‘education’ then go to ‘naropa’. Quite a bit of burroughs here, reading, lecturing, and on panels with people like Ginsberg, Corso, Ferlinghetti, Abbie Hoffman……..

  2. I was in rehab for six months following years of heroin addiction. I had never found a “cure” as burroughs called it. Then I was working in the warehouse sorting through donated items(I was at the salvation army) when I came across a book called “Junky” I remembered burroughs from the movie drugstore cowboy so I gave It a read.I have never read Or seen or heard some one take all the feelings of of my heart and put them on paper. I can definatley say that The thoughts and feeling expressed in that book are more acurate and heart felt to me than eanything out there.

  3. Your version of The Masque Of The Red Death is a better quality than the copy I bought from an online music supplier (can I mention Emusic here?).

    Quite the treasure trove of Burroughs goodies you have here. I’ll be back.

  4. I have to mention Commisioner of Sewers and Nova Express…as greats of WSB multimedia…but also has anyone else seen the Saturday Night Live (1971 CBS I think) footage of WSB doing “K-9 Was In Touch With The Alien Mind Screens” reading, I have the telesync footage among other footage checking with Kieth and hopefully anyone else involved before I post this amazing WSB VHS tape I inherited from a now deceased MIT Cryptographer
    I will post here with links to what I have when I clear the footage with the estate, thanks WSB fans

    “Artists to my mind are the real architects of change, and not the political legislators who implement change after the fact.” -WSB

    “Heavy Metal” – Coined by WSB

  5. My overview of WSB’s work in (and influence on) the fields of music and film has just come out. It’s pretty comprehensive I reckon, if somewhat uh idiosyncratic. Either way, it’s cheap and you can get it from amazon via other online booksellers. Entitled “Even the Old Dude is Cool – William Burroughs on the Wheels of Steel and the Silver Screen”.


    Thanks. Hope ya dig it.

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