Eno's thoughts on the transformation of the ugly into art

by phil on Monday May 26, 2008 12:16 AM

From 1995, Brian Eno's Diary: A Year with Swollen Appendices

Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD Distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit — all these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided.

It's the sound of failure: so much of modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.


Will said on September 10, 2008 1:37 PM:

This is something that I have noticed in the audio realm but not necessarily in the visual realm. The look of video is still shunned in favor of varieties of film.

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