On the left is a collage I made a year and a half ago, on the right is the view from a folding chair I was sitting in yesterday. Burroughs, in his wonderful Paris Review interview and elsewhere, spoke of how collage and cut-ups were a form of time travel.
…it is a matter of the future and the past being laid out, so that you can see both the future and the past from the present. There is a very interesting book by John Donne called An Experiment With Time, written in 1925. He started writing down his dreams and found that they very often referred to future events. I dream about earthquakes, and he had a very interesting point to make about that. He said that if you dream about an earthquake, you are not foreseeing the actual event. What you are seeing is the moment when you will become aware of it. That is, the moment you will see it in a newspaper or hear about it on the news. In other words, you are moving forward on your own time track to a moment of your own future awareness.
He then spoke about art as a “creative act”:
Paul Klee said that art does not simply render nature, it renders it visible. The artist sees something that others do not see, and by seeing it and putting it on canvas, he makes it visible to others. Recognition art. A particle physicist at the University of Texas named John Wheeler has developed something that he calls “recognition physics.” Wheeler says that nothing exists until it is observed. Well, the artist as observer is like that. The observer creates by observing, and the observer observes by creating. In other words, observation is a creative act. By observing something and putting it onto canvas, the artist makes something visible to others that did not exist until he observed it.