This is Brian Eno in conversation with ME (😁 – Jon Alexander) at Leadmill Sheffield as part of the Festival Of Debate…
Brian is writing a book addressed to his daughter Darla, stimulated by his concern that “there’s a part of herself, which might be her favourite part, which she’s not using much because it feels ineffective and indulgent in this time.” That part is the artist, the singer, in Darla… and I suggested we use our conversation to help.
It was an impossible conversation to summarise – but I can at least give you a tease as to Brian’s 3 arguments as to “the case for art”:
💪 Making or responding to art exercises our imagination – and imagination is a muscle we all need to exercise, now more than ever. In a time when we know the way our world works is broken, we NEED to be able to imagine different ways of being in order to step into them.
🌍 Art makes worlds – and crucially allows us to FEEL what it would be like to live in them. We make the most important decisions in our lives based on feelings, not reason – and art can create the possibility of those experiences.
🤝 Art enables “social synchronisation”, communicating ideas and trends, and enabling the building of community – again, both through creating and responding to art. Art enables us to make meaning collectively, not just individually.
I was left thinking differently not just about what art does, but what art is – and reflecting that many of my favourite Citizen stories are really art, from East Marsh United reimagining Grimsby to gov zero reinventing government in Taiwan.
This was Brian’s closer:
“There isn’t one highway we’re going to travel to the future; we’re all going to be figuring out our way through the forest – so we all need to be able to create.”
Jon Alexander, author of “Citizens“