Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Okay, yes, this is basically self-amusement

Huh. There were a couple of things I was planning on maybe blogging about tonight, but one of them sort of relies on a weblink that doesn't actually exist. I respect the right of publications not to put all their articles online, and there may be solid reasons for them to make that choice. But in 2012 you sort of take it for granted everything will be within e-reach.

Anyways, Brian Eno has fascinated me for a long time. Partly as an artist in his own right, but also as someone who thinks and talks about creative processes. Not that these two things are completely separate.

When I heard about his Oblique Strategies cards, I thought it was an interesting idea. That idea being that randomly generated suggestions could help kickstart your thinking in unexpected ways. It's a more shambolic version of concepts under the umbrella of Oulipo and other groups. And yes, as I said, interesting. But not, I would venture to say, worth the arm, leg, and nut that it most certainly would cost to get hold of a deck, or at least not for most of us.

So it's kind of good news that there's a website that's archived the contents of the deck. The prompts come one at a time, not all at once. I've been re-typing them into Word with a somewhat nicer font. Some of them do put fun thoughts in your head.


susan said...

The Financial Times recognizes my IPO and only lets me read four articles a month but at least they're up front about their policy. It's irritating when a writer posts a link to something they infer everyone has read and it turns out you have to pay.

The Oblique Strategy cards almost look like Zen pronouncements, don't they? I can see them being interesting prompts for a writer.

Ben said...

Yeah, the surprise paywall thing can be pretty annoying. Maybe the linker forgets not everybody has a subscription?

A good prompt for me is something that gets me doing what I want to do, rather than what I'm tempted to do. Or that gets me doing something, anyway. These art stimulating, I have to say. And I see the Zen resemblance.