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Brian eno on creativity and ideas- from poptech

October 20, 2006

Brian Eno spoke at PopTech , yesterday, but it’s very hard to succinctly sum up what he talked about.

He was great and covered a great deal of ground.

Here are some very rough notes and bastardized quotes.

It took Darwin 150 years for his ideas to gain acceptance.

Darwin shows that it’s reality and time that creates intelligence, an alternative to intelligence creating the reality.

Only if we can understand our insignificance can we grasp the bigger picture.

Big moments of inspiration- Steve Reich’s “It’s Going to Rain” (this interview questions Reich about the track- at the end of the piece) the “music”; a preacher’s voice looped through two machines.

This was radical, because when Eno first heard it, in the late 60s, the pop music world was moving into the new world of multi-track recording. This was the time when ELP were filling up every available track, Reich showed Eno that you don’t need much to create.

The best art lets the user create- it always has- it brings the user in and lets them imagine.

77 Million Paintings by Brian Eno: a self-generative software system that reflects the transience of culture.

Second big inspiration, seeing a demo of John Conway’s Game of Life – 3 simple rules that generated baffling complexity.

Eno suggests you don’t need much to create and that ideas can be refined and developed by letting them self-generate and replicate via machines or otherwise.

Perhaps the future of the world of art and creativity will revolve around the seeding of ideas and content that’s designed specifically to morph and change over time.

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