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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies

Read the deck, select a card or select 3 at a time.

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Intro Post for this Oblique Strategies "Blog"

This is a blog in format only. I will not be making any periodic posts. The idea is that you arrive here as often as you like for your Oblique Strategies selection, and not for anything I've got to say.

This page has been kicking around in one format or another and from host to host, serving millions for over 11 years, since May 24, 1996, and I'm tremendously grateful that I've never received any nasty letters from Brian Eno's attorneys -- God bless him.

While I wouldn't say it is in the major leagues of heavy hit draws, it has maintained a consistent amount of traffic during all those years and so I've moved it with me from various web hosts and made the effort to update it periodically. It used to be available with downloadable desktop versions for both Mac and Windows, but I no longer keep those up-to-date for the current OS versions, as it would require me to upgrade the authoring software (Macromedia Director) that I used, several leaps in version numbers, and I've pretty much given up Director for video.

But what fun that was in those early web years to come up with something that was a pretty big hit in its day. I had a hit counter on the first site, but lost track of the count after I had moved it around to several different hosting servers. The old, broken links still show up in Google and on a lot of websites that are still pointing to the original link on Nashville.net.

For years it still showed up on an old, published class syllabus from the Art Institute in Chicago where, apparently, Andrea Polli was teaching at that time. This was a pretty funky little page back then, but it was the first item mentioned in the syllabus after the Introductions, and in the category of "Inspirations." She had that absolutely dead on, as the whole idea had come to me from one of the strategies themselves, the one that says, "Mechanicalize Something Idiosyncratic," which is exactly what I then did and rendered in Shockwave.

What was more telling, traffic wise, when the desktop versions were still available, was the email I got from those who had downloaded it. The original — quite rare — Oblique Strategies card decks had gained legendary status amongst Eno fans, so an online or desktop version was the only way many would ever see them. Eventually there were several versions to be found. Eno did finally re-release them several years ago and I'd like to think we all helped nudged him a little on that. After all, only he had the rights to sell them and make some money off of them.

So this will likely be my last post, so that the Oblique Strategies themselves will remain as the top post. I'll be adding some sidebar links for Eno enthusiasts, and doing some other tidying up, so these pages my change now and then, but this is it as far as posting goes. After I'm sure it all works I'll be changing the old site to redirect to here.

Feel free to leave comments and/or tell us about your strategies, and thanks for stopping by.