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QUOTES: BRIAN ENO ON STYLE

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“Art is style: art is about style. In the past people used to think art is about content: It’s got to mean something. This is why people always say – but I don’t understand what it means, when they look at abstract painting. What are you trying to say? As if the reason that art exists is to package up messages that the artist passes to you through the work. So, that idea claims that art is a communication channel of some kind – I’m the artist, I shout down that communication channel and you receive the message at the other end. Well, I don’t think art has ever been about that really.

The other theory, the other way of thinking about art, is not that it’s a channel for communication something but that it’s a trigger; it’s a way of making something happen. And my interest in art is much more on that side of things – saying, what can I make happen? What can I make that will trigger something in you?

So, what is it that makes people do something? I think it’s stylistic. What’s the difference between a reggae song that makes you dance in one way and a disco song that makes you dance in another?

The difference is the beat. What is the difference between one beat and another? They’re stylistically not the same. There’s no content difference. In one of them, the kick drum is on the one and, in the other, it’s on the two – that’s a style difference. So, I think that everything that moves you in art is a stylistic issue of some kind. This is something I lecture about and is a long story, and I usually have to use examples to prove it”.

– Taken from Mono Kulture #34

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