Eno View

Brian Eno interviews well, as is evident in this Index Magazine transcript.

BRIAN: Yes. It led me to my theory that cities are places built for women.
PETER: Wow.
BRIAN: In cities, you have the opportunity to do all the things that women are really specialized at: intense social relationships and interactions, attention to lots of simultaneous details. And of course in cities you can do very few of the things that men are good at.
PETER: Like what?
BRIAN: You can’t break anything in a city. Everything is valuable, so you’re limited in how much you can test the physical nature of things, which I think is a big part of a man’s make up.
PETER: Many urbanists say that public life in the eighteenth century – which is when the modern city began to take shape – was available only to men. Do you think a female city was always there under the surface?
BRIAN: I do. One of the peaks of civilization in the west was the salon. They were nearly always the invention and ongoing project of women.

Also a fan of Rorty, and something I will get round to writing about later in the week.

PETER: That sounds so much like Heidegger or Sartre. I don’t understand what makes Rorty different.
BRIAN: He’s an optimist. It’s not, “We made it all up? Oh shit, so there’s nothing at the bottom of it all?” To me, Rorty’s work is a celebration of what humans do best of all, which is to imagine.

Here’s a man who made his money and has pottered off into the realms of research and theory. I like that. Eno is a new form of the landed Victorian gentleman, who had interests in music and farming but spent much of his time in the lab, poring over ancient law and experimenting with ill-conceived alchemies.


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