Boomkat Product Review:
Alga Marghen in collaboration with Expanded Media Editions present the final issue of “Soft Need”, a publication centered on the work of William Burroughs and expanding its deep influences into contemporary consciousness.
"Founded in 1973 as a reaction to the aftermath of a three weeks’ stay across Xmas and New Year’s with Gysin and Burroughs by their confidant Udo Breger, “Soft Need“ had its roots in the underground press of the previous two decades and at the same time became a prototype for the forthcoming fanzine scene. Even if only 3 numbers were issued in the 70s (SN#8 in 1973 followed by SN#9 in 1976 and SN#17 “The Brion Gysin Special“ in 1977, all in print-runs of 300 to 500 copies) it quickly became a legendary publication for both Burroughs fans and those interested in counterculture experimental poetry artists’ editions. Almost half a century later, the last edition “Soft Need 23“ is now issued including exclusive material by William Burroughs and Brion Gysin as well as multi-media contributions by eighty international authors and artists.
Issued in an edition limited to 431 copies “Soft Need 23” is a 260-page art book reflecting on the contemporary relevance of historical works by Burroughs and Gysin within the frame of the Beat Generation. Dedicated to Ian Sommerville, the English electronic technician and computer programmer who was collaborating with Brion Gysin to the development of the early Dreammachine and programmed the computer-generated random sequences that Gysin used in his early cut-ups, the book present 190 illustrations, literary essays, photographs, poetry, visual art, caricature, memories and a vast array of ephemera by William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, Allen Ginsberg, Louise Landes Levi, Gregory Corso, Jean-Jacques Lebel, John Armleder, Paul-Armand Gette, Peter Weibel (director of ZKM Karlsruhe and curator with Udo Breger of “The Name Is Burroughs” show in 2012), Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Sonic Boom, Papiro, James Grauerholz, Robert Wilson and many, many others."