Monday, June 20, 2011

Where is the Edge? Brian Eno On the Creative Process Plus Some Other Stuff

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan / Bali, Indonesia

" The edge... there is no honest way to explain it because the only ones who really know where it is are the ones who have gone over." - Hunter S. Thompson

Oblique Strategies consists of a deck of cards developed by composer/producer/philosopher Brian Eno & artist Peter Schmidt as a set of basic working principles meant to steer the creative process during times of extreme pressure. Loosely based on the I Ching, the cards can be used to disrupt the process while encouraging a new way to approach creative problem solving. Says Eno:
"The Oblique Strategies evolved from me being in a number of working situations when the panic of the situation - particularly in studios - tended to make me quickly forget that there were others ways of working and that there were tangential ways of attacking problems that were in many senses more interesting than the direct head-on approach. If you're in a panic, you tend to take the head-on approach because it seems to be the one that's going to yield the best results Of course, that often isn't the case - it's just the most obvious and - apparently - reliable method. The function of the Oblique Strategies was, initially, to serve as a series of prompts which said, "Don't forget that you could adopt *this* attitude," or "Don't forget you could adopt *that* attitude."

Some of those strategic prompts (over 100 of them) include:


- EMPHASIZE THE FLAWS
- GO TO AN EXTREME & COME PART WAY BACK
- WORK AT A DIFFERENT SPEED
DO THE LAST THING FIRST
- HONOR THY ERROR AS A HIDDEN INTENTION


and, of course:


-WHERE IS THE EDGE?


I've always been fascinated by Eno... his music & collaborations, his production projects, video, audio & sculptural installations and his ideas on work, art, music & creativity. For more on the artists, I just found an online copy of the seminal Eno biography, Brian Eno: His Music and the Vertical Color of Sound by author Eric Tamm. Click here to download the e-book in .pdf format and Happy Reading!


And on a completely different note... flight cases are packed & loaded for a triumphant return to the Big Island tomorrow afternoon. Assistant Barry & I will again schlep grotesquely overweight cases full of gear through airports & hotel hallways in pursuit of photographic perfection. Two days (mostly) on the ground and an helicopter assault by air are scheduled while in residence once again at the Hapuna Beach Resort on the Kohala Coast.


Evening meals will again be taken at the delightful little Italian Bistro in Kawaihae where, during our last trip, a young, pimply-faced & overly perky reject from the Glee cast literally floated out of his loafers as we approached the hostess stand to be sat (set? seated? sot?). Way too obviously convinced that we were a happy aging gay couple, our host sashayed with menus in hand from behind his podium, asking with a "knowing wink" if the "couples section" would be satisfactory?" 


"Well hell yes that will work" I spat back... "now bring me a double Pink Cadillac and be quick about it!"

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