A project to break creative blocks by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt.
Abandon normal instruments
A line has two sides
Allow an easement (an easement is the abandonment of a stricture)
Always first steps
Are there sections? Consider transitions
Ask people to work against their better judgement
Ask your body
Assemble some of the elements in a group and treat the group
Balance the consistency principle with the inconsistency principle
Be less critical more often
Breathe more deeply
Bridges -build -burn
Change instrument roles
Change nothing and continue with immaculate consistency
Children -speaking -singing
Consider different fading systems
Consult other sources -promising -unpromising
Cut a vital connection
Define an area as 'safe' and use it as an anchor
Destroy -nothing -the most important thing
Discard an axiom
Disconnect from desire
Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them
Do nothing for as long as possible
Don't be afraid of things because they're easy to do
Don't be frightened of cliches
Don't be frightened to display your talents
Don't break the silence
Don't stress one thing more than another
Do something boring
Do the words need changing?
Do we need holes?
Emphasise the flaws
Fill every beat with something
From nothing to more than nothing
Give the game away
Give way to your worst impulse
Go outside. Shut the door.
Go slowly all the way round the outside
Go to an extreme, move back to a more comfortable place
Honor thy error as a hidden intention
How would you have done it?
Humanise something free of error
Idiot glee (?)
Imagine the piece as a set of disconnected events
Intentions -nobility of -humility of -credibility of
In total darkness, or in a very large room, very quietly
Into the impossible
Is it finished?
Is the intonation correct?
Is there something missing?
It is quite possible (after all)
Just carry on
Listen to the quiet voice
Look at the order in which you do things
Look closely at the most embarrassing details and amplify them
Lost in useless territory
Lowest common denominator
Make a blank valuable by putting it in an exquisite frame
Make an exhaustive list of everything you might do and do the last thing on the list
Make a sudden, destructive unpredictable action; incorporate
Mechanicalise something idiosyncratic
Mute and continue
Not building a wall but making a brick
Once the search is in progress, something will be found
Only a part, not the whole
Only one element of each kind
Overtly resist change
Question the heroic approach
Remember those quiet evenings
Remove ambiguities and convert to specifics
Remove specifics and convert to ambiguities
Repetition is a form of change
Retrace your steps
Revaluation (a warm feeling)
Short circuit (example; a man eating peas with the idea that they will improve his virility shovels them straight into his lap)
Simply a matter of work
State the problem in words as clearly as possible
Take a break
Take away the elements in order of apparent non-importance
The inconsistency principle
The most important thing is the thing most easily forgotten
The tape is now the music
Think of the radio
Towards the insignificant
Trust in the you of now
Turn it upside down
Use an old idea
Use an unacceptable colour
Use fewer notes
Use 'unqualified' people
What are the sections sections of? Imagine a caterpillar moving
What are you really thinking about just now?
What is the reality of the situation?
What mistakes did you make last time?
What wouldn't you do?
What would your closest friend do?
Work at a different speed
Would anybody want it?
You are an engineer
You can only make one dot at a time
You don't have to be ashamed of using your own ideas
In October 2022, Davin Granroth made this webpage interpretation of the card deck created by Eno and Schmidt 47 years earlier.
See also the Wikipedia page on Oblique Strategies and a blog post about this page.