Brian Eno: The Revenge of the Intuitive

Brian Eno wrote a great piece for Wired magazine. In it he discusses the use of technology in the creation of art.

The limitations of a certain piece of technology or of a certain medium is not bad, just its signature. He points to the Marshall Amp and how it leads to distortion of the audio signal. In my hands it would sound awful, in Jimi Hendrix’s it is way better. Here is one paragraph I love:

Since so much of our experience is mediated in some way or another, we have deep sensitivities to the signatures of different media. Artists play with these sensitivities, digesting the new and shifting the old. In the end, the characteristic forms of a tools or mediums distortion, of its weakness and limitations, become sources of emotional meaning and intimacy.

Of course as a Theater professor I relate this to Theater, and it really resonates. the role of the artist is to make art out of the new and old, and to bring an emotional meaning to your work.