Friday, 30 April 2010

Why I [heart] Brian Eno


Now I don't care about you, but I love Brian Eno, and am pretty fucking excited that he's organising next month's Brighton Festival.
They've given Brian some slightly wanky title; so he's not the artistic director, he's the curator.
Actually, it could be a self-description he once said in an interview that he thought the role of the artist was like that of a museum curator, bringing things up from the metaphorical cultural basement that he thinks are interesting and wants to share with people.
A bit like Cornelius in Planet of the Apes, though Brian didn't mention him.
There was an odd interview with Brian in the paper yesterday. It included a great piece of Eno ire at being asked in an interview about the Brighton Festival about being in Roxy Music; '"Jesus Christ," snaps Eno. "The second question is about Roxy Music. I knew it. Where's that knife? I'm sick of journalists asking me if I'm going to reform Roxy Music. Didn't I warn you I'd shoot you if you asked about Roxy Music."'
And comes up with a predictably perspicacious cultural dichotomy of control versus surrender. Eno thinks we need to start celebrating surrender; '"Control and surrender have to be kept in balance. That's what surfers do – take control of the situation, then be carried, then take control. In the last few thousand years, we've become incredibly adept technically. We've treasured the controlling part of ourselves and neglected the surrendering part." Eno considers all his recent art to be a rebuttal to this attitude. "I want to rethink surrender as an active verb," he says. "It's not just you being escapist; it's an active choice."'
I think that's brilliant. It's celebrating the passive role over the active - whereas the norm, in sex and in life, is for the latter to be lauded. It's wanting art that's democratic, participatory, anarchistic...
I'm looking foward to going to see Brian's 'This is an illustrated talk!' at Brighton Dome on My 22nd. Brian Eno is one of my few heroes, and one of the even fewer of my heroes that I haven't been in the same room as yet. I love his music, but it seems more appropriate and more thrilling to go and hear Brian thinking aloud.
He's a pretty handsome fellow for a 61 year-old too.
If we get to ask Brian Eno questions I'd like to ask him if the fact that his father was a postman made him interested in human communication, why this technophile doesn't have a website, and why his exhibition 77 Million Paintings is never open when I visit.

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