Brian Eno, Peter Schmidt and Pae White
Oblique Strategies: One Hundred Worthwhile Dilemmas,
Fourth Again Revised and More Universal Edition, 1996
Paper, Ceramic, and Ink
Gift of Terry Myers '87
What Makes These Cards Art?
Brian Eno created Oblique Strategies as a solution to the periodic creative blocks he faced as an artist. Each card is designed to inspire its reader. Eno shared this idea with his colleagues and began making multiple decks of cards to give to his friends whenever they were also lacking motivation or inspiration.
In western museums, much of the value placed on artworks comes from a widespread understanding that the objects on display are one-of-a-kind. This deck is not the only Oblique Strategies card deck in the world, nor the very first edition.
Oblique Strategies deals with a sub-theme of this exhibit, copies and forgeries. When something is useful and aesthetically pleasing, it’s considered to have good design. Do industrially manufactured, mass-produced things have artistic value?
Questions for the viewer(s):
Is it art because of the aesthetic design of the card box and individual cards?
Is it art because it’s affiliated with the artistic process (as potential sources of inspiration to artists, as well as being created by an artist)?