Saturday, August 16, 2008

Wired with Brian Eno

Q: If I could give you a black box that could do anything, what would you have it do?

A: I would love to have a box onto which I could offload choice making. A thing that makes choices about its outputs, and says to itself: this is a good output, reinforce that, or replay it, or feed it back in. I would love for this machine to stand for me. I could program this box to be my particular taste and interest in things.

Q: Why would you want to do that? You have you.

A: Yes, I have me. But I want to be able to sell systems for making my music as well as selling pieces of music. In the future, you won't buy artists' works; you'll buy software that makes original pieces of 'their' works, or that recreates their way of looking at things. You could buy a Shostakovich box, or you could buy a Brahms box. You might want some Shostakovich slow-movement-like music to be generated. So then you would use that box. Or you could buy a Brian Eno box. So then I would need to put in this box a device that represents my taste for choosing pieces.

Q: I guess the only thing weirder that hearing your own music broadcast on the radios of strangers is hearing music you might have written being broadcast!

A: Yes, music that I might have written but didn't.

Wired Interview of Brian Eno, by Kevin Kelly
May 1995

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