promoting ideas

I’m reading A Year with Swollen Appendices: Brian Eno’s Diary[1] and it’s full of delicate treasures and everyday written doodles. It’s also creating the dangerous possibility that every blog post of mine from here until then will simply be a quote from the 1995 version of Brian Eno. This is awkward, but fuck it.

Here, Eno is discussing payment for doing an interview and expressing bemusement that as the primary producer (i.e. the interviewee) he should be paid, and that “It’s good promotion for you” is not good enough:

This is why I’ve never particularly linked doing interviews to record releases – which most people do. I’m not promoting the record: the records are promoting the ideas.

I like Eno’s sleight of mind here.

I make dances, and I help others make dances, and I go to watch dances (in many different forms) because they are in some way promoting ideas (even if those ideas exist in a purely kinaesthetic way).

Currently dance seems to be preoccupied with promoting dances rather than allowing the dances to promote ideas. This also often gets in the way of the works themselves. To put the cart before the horse is a trap in our time of dance trailers, social web, e-news and hyper-connectivity.


  1. Eno, Brian (1996). A Year With Swollen Appendices. London: Faber and Faber, p.43. Amazon link  ↩
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