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  • gabrielgarciamft

One Hundred Useful Dilemas

Oblique Strategies began as an experimental card game that encourages tangential thinking in order to rouse the intuitive spirit and support self surprise. In the mythos, Eno and Schmidt (a painter and mentor to Eno) came up with the cards and used them for any an all artists applications when things become stagnant, its like moving a rock in pond, in hopes to create a cascading effect.

Ever heard, ‘wherever you go, there you are’? Some mental vestiges follow us even when our intent is to be as abstract as possible… in fact there may be a correlation to the mind rebounding towards the well known and lazy when we venture off to the creative outer boundaries, locking us in a mental contradiction that stymies creativity. When this happens to me I look around at my surroundings and find anything to distract, “hey, I need to vacuum” or “I really need to (fill in the blank). The practice of releasing the mundane and creating a sacred space for creativity and nothing else is crucial.

This resource is old hat for most trained artists, but I ain’t trained and I only discovered them in my 30’s. I know many of you aren’t either so here’s what I hope to be an inspiring way to get the creativity flowing again. But beware, Devo hated the process when they worked with Brian…

"Devo being the smartass intellectuals that we were, we thought [the cards] were pretty wanky, they were too Zen for us. We thought that precious, pseudo-mystical, elliptical stuff was too groovy. We were into brute, nasty realism and industrial-strength sounds and beats. We didn't want pretty. Brian was trying to add beauty to our music."

Try the cards here when you hit a block, and come up with some of your own. In fact I think everyone should apply their creativity to the process, seeking our novel forms of momentum and movement when you wanna work but just can’t!


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