The cut-up method is a literary technique in which a written text is cut up and rearranged to create a new text. It can be traced back to at least the Dadaists of the 1920s.
In the 1950s Brion Gysin developed the cut-up method after, so the story goes, accidentally re-discovering it. He had placed layers of newspapers as a mat to protect a tabletop from being scratched while he cut papers with a razor blade. Upon cutting through the newspapers, Gysin noticed that the sliced layers offered interesting juxtapositions of text and image. He then began deliberately cutting newspaper articles into sections, which he randomly rearranged.