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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Oblique Strategies Online

I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I didn't know about the Oblique Strategies cards (made by musicians Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt) until I heard author Tupelo Hassman mention them on this podcast from Skylight Books, which you should listen to to enjoy a reading from Hassman's award-winning stylistically innovative book Girl Child, and to hear an interview with Hassman herself.

Basically Oblique Strategies is a deck of cards with suggestions for thinking in new directions during a creative crisis or block. You just randomly draw a card from the deck, and have it take you where it may. Example cards include: "Emphasize the flaws" and "Define an area as 'safe' and use it as an anchor" and "Go slowly all the way round the outside" and "Convert a melodic element into a rhythic element" and (a favorite for me!) "Repetition is a form of change."

Decks of cards (older editions) can be pricey and hard to come by. New editions are apparently available. To see if you think you need a deck, try these online card generators (they seem to emphasize different cards, so try them all):

Minimal Design's Oblique Strategies Generator

EnoWeb's Oblique Strategies Random Card

Stoney's Website Oblique Card Generator

Josh Harrison's Oblique Strategies Generator

4/12  Addendum: Someone named Matt Gillooly has a Twitter feed called Oblique Strategies, @oblique.  It seems to post cards to Twitter on an hourly basis.

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