Saturday, 15 June 2013

Oblique Strategies anyone?

Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.

Radio rocks! For us radiophiles at least, this little invention has not been fossilized just yet. I find nothing more satisfying than spending a good working day, at the knitting with a large mug of tea and some Radio play in the background. Just this week, I learned about the allusive Oblique Strategy Cards. Now, I put it down to my birth era….I had never heard of Oblique Strategy Cards before until I fell upon a great presentation, on Radio 4 by Simon Armitage (whose voice would soothe you to sleep), discussing the origin and validity of these curiosities. The peculiar cards apparently have shaped how music was made. They helped in the creation of great poems. They were partly responsible for the birth of earnest literary characters. What are they? I scrambled to Google seeking the answers.

“Oblique Strategies (subtitled Over One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas) is a deck of 7 by 9 centimetres (2.8 in × 3.5 in) printed cards in a black container box, created by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt  and first published in 1975. Each card offers an aphorism intended to help artists (particularly musicians) break creative blocks  by encouraging lateral thinking.”

I look sympathetically at my well worn ‘yes, no’ maybe’ die and check out where I can buy this deck. It all sounds so underground. Even the box looks sexy. There are limited editions, special artwork, gimme, gimme, gimme….it’s like Needful Things.

To be continued....


Not sure this is what Eno/ Schmidt were hoping for when developing their concept. Never mind, it was the cards at play. 

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