Brian Eno, "The Revenge of the Intuitive"

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by David A. Goldfarb, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This reflection on "traditional media" is a few years old (1999) but I just came across it and didn't find any links to it on APUG--

    http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/7.01/eno.html

    A snippet--

     
  2. Anupam Basu

    Anupam Basu Member

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    That is very lucidly written. Reminded me of a whole range of cultural criticism from the early Marx to the Frankfurt school and beyond.
     
  3. Alex Hawley

    Alex Hawley Member

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    Very interesting David. This statement of Eno's writing is the one that resonates with me.
    Its interesting because someone in the music world is frustrated by exactly the same thing that frustrated the technical world, and the frustration comes from the implementation of what is at first believed to be better technology.

    Nearly the same thing can be said about resonance. In one form of music, it can be beautiful and useful. In other forms of music, it can be horrible and destructive. In a building structure, bridge, aircraft, automobile, ect., resonance can become catastrophically destructive. Yet, it enables other forms of useful technology.
     
  4. Michel Hardy-Vallée

    Michel Hardy-Vallée Membership Council Council

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    Someone who is an engineer once told me about the importance of "graceful fallback": when something breaks, it should break in a manner that plan B is possible, then plan C, then plan D, etc. When my father took Judo lessons, he told me that the first thing they teach you is how to fall properly without harming yourself. Same principle.

    In the Fine Maths of a B&W Print thread, that was my argument for comparing not the absolute highest standards possible with either media, but rather the flaws, the defects: which defects are you more willing to cope with? JPEG noise or grain?

    As a mature technology, film has an amazingly graceful fallback.
     
  5. Jim Chinn

    Jim Chinn Member

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    Interesting article. It definitely highlights the importance of maintaining old methods and processes in all kinds of fields and endeavors.
     
  6. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Brian Eno is excellent. Here Come the Warm Jets and Another Green World are phenomenal albums.
     
  7. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    simply put - I suppose it's about maintaining useful tools.... and not letting yourself be used BY them... also being a lover of analogue means of music production, and being very familiar with eno (and then some!) it sure jives with me.
     
  8. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    My vote's for "my life in the bush of ghosts' with david byrne - have you HEARD that?? my god.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QLXTsviMxk
     
  9. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    That passage very aptly decribes my frustration with most of the techno gadgets around nowdays, such as most mobile phones, typical digi cameras and much software. Too much of this stuff is designed with a philosophy of "we can add this and this and that function, isn't it cool to make it do that". Rather than paying attention to the core functionality and making it do that well.
     
  10. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    YES - I really have to admit that I'm SOOO DEEPLY entrenched in this 'cult of the analog' thing - I can't TOLERATE using cell phones... the intelligibility is so poor! You'd think technology would improve the quality of things... guess not. It's all about 'features' (that you'll never use anyway!)
     
  11. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    I think part of it comes from supposedly independant reviews done by people who barely know what they are talking about. The reviews devolve down to checklists of features, and people think that just because it has more features that makes it somehow better. No matter that the "features" are implemented with no consideration of logic.
     
  12. Colin Graham

    Colin Graham Member

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    Yes! Most excellent. Byrne and Eno were a great mix of talent...

    Cult of analogue...I like that. I've always wondered if digital could somehow eat itself; although the sweetest revenge will undoubtedly involve my own destruction! :-D
     
  13. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    Quote: "Software options proliferate extremely easily, too easily in fact, because too many options create tools that can't ever be used intuitively. Intuitive actions confine the detail work to a dedicated part of the brain, leaving the rest of one's mind free to respond with attention and sensitivity to the changing texture of the moment. With tools, we crave intimacy. This appetite for emotional resonance explains why users - when given a choice - prefer deep rapport over endless options. You can't have a relationship with a device whose limits are unknown to you, because without limits it keeps becoming something else."

    Interesting article and very well written, in my opinion. Perhaps I am failing to grasp the meaning of the author...perhaps things have changed in the interim since he originally proferred his thesis. Irregardless, let me go on to say a few things, based in my experience and thoughts originating in that experience.

    I think that the intuitive process that the author speaks of in this missive is perhaps misunderstood or perhaps he means something entirely different than I do when I speak of "intuitive process." To me the truly "intuitive process" begins within the realm of the "possible but heretofore unexpressed". This is "true creativity" at it's very core.

    When we dispense with new technology out of hand because it is new and it is technology we limit our realm of the "possible".

    Copies of photographs that were copies of other photographs made by other photographers who themselves were making copies of trees, rocks, doorways, and decay is not creative. It is simply duplication and it is most often illustrative. What is truly intuitive or creative about that? We like to think of ourselves as creative artists working in the realm of traditional photography and yet are we really truly creative artists? What is a "new creation" about what we bring forth?

    I realize that there has been a long standing and often vitriolic debate about the so called "traditional and D******" process. Yet I observe those who have embraced the later to be stretching not only the limits of expression within that realm but also discovering new means of utilizing that techology. That, to me, is more intuitive and and hence more creative not less so.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 16, 2007
  14. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    Donald - I think what eno was saying has more to do with those who lockstep blindly with others into where they're told to go by tech marketing and assume they're 'being creative' because they bought the product.... whereas just sitting back and exploiting alternate possibilities with the humble tools you already have - can be FAR more rewarding.
     
  15. Tony Egan

    Tony Egan Subscriber

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    "This appetite for emotional resonance explains why users - when given a choice - prefer deep rapport over endless options. You can't have a relationship with a device whose limits are unknown to you, because without limits it keeps becoming something else."

    This insight certainly "resonates" with me. The contrast of mental vs muscular activity is also worth pondering. Every guitarist who plays an E chord will do it a little differently and bring out slightly different nuance and emphasis.

    As for exposure to Eno's music my first encounter was 31 years ago in a chemically altered state listening to Phil Manzanera's Diamond Head album at a party. What is that music I remember thinking before finding the LP cover with the big old locomotive on the front. Ah, 1976, my first year at Uni (college). I can still picture the room, the stereo system, where I was sitting, the girl I had a crush on and drove back to her dorm. at Sydney Uni(end of story!) etc. etc.

    Thanks for posting David.
     
  16. Rolleiflexible

    Rolleiflexible Member

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    Funny timing. I was just listening to The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East last night, and thinking what a magnificent sound those Marshalls pumped out.

    From the sublime to the ridiculous, I saw yesterday that someone has finally married a tube amp up to an iPod dock.

    Sanders
     
  17. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    when i listen to brian eno's music done way back in the 70s, it still
    sounds ahead of its time ( and even now ).

    i wonder what peter fripp things of all this stuff.
     
  18. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    You mean robert?? (fripp)
     
  19. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    yeah :smile:
    i never get his name right, even when i know it is robert, i say peter :rolleyes:
     
  20. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    ha ha... it's like in architecture school when people would refer to the writings of kenneth (peter) frampton.
     
  21. blokeman

    blokeman Member

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    Brian Eno

    Being very familiar with all of Brian Eno's work (and some of his visual 2 dimensional stuff as well) I was attracted to the post. My thoughts on it are that digital schmigital has come along a bit too soon because in my opinion there is/was still much to experiment with with traditional silver films and papers. I have always loved pushing each of them to their limits. Unfortunately this has now become more difficult with a lot of materials disappearing from the market. However, my personal obsession will continue...