Saturday, March 03, 2007


Oblique Strategies

I was reading the new Wired Magazine, which has an article devoted to our snack culture (serve our media up in little bits, along with our food, please), and ran across a mention of a deck of cards created by musician/artist Brian Eno. The deck, which Brian designed with friend Peter Schmidt, is called Oblique Strategies. As artists, Brian and Peter discovered that they had strategies for overcoming obstacles encountered in their work. As they developed these strategies, they wrote them as aphorisms and eventually bundled them together as a set of cards. The first edition was released in 1975, with two other editions following within the next few years. A fourth set was created in 1996 as a private project for the Peter Norton family. (Please don't ask me who Peter Norton is.) Even though the original decks were printed in limited quantities and are hard to come by, the aphorisms are listed on the web on the site devoted exclusively to them, as well as on several other sites. One site acts as a random generator, serving up oblique strategies as you need them.

For the list of aphorisms in each deck (they changed a bit over time), see the links below:

1st edition

2nd edition
3rd edition
4th edition

The Oblique Strategies site points people to Brian Eno's official store to purchase a copy of the deck (5th edition).

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