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Topic: The Oblique Strategies  (Read 7357 times)
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« on: May 29, 2004 10:28:59 PM »

I discovered Brian Eno about two years ago through a Lester Bangs interview and have been a big Eno fan ever since.  Shortly thereafter, I became fascinated by the Oblique Strategies, which is a deck of simple cards with enigmatic prompts on them like "Water" and "Shortcut: A man trying to increase his virility by shoveling peas straight into his lap."  I made my own deck by cutting up sheets of cardstock and writing out all of the strategies by hand.  It was fun and I still use that deck.

Last November, it struck me that homemade Oblique Strategies decks would make wonderful Christmas gifts for four very dear friends I met over the past year.  At first, I was going to do all four decks by hand but that soon became impractical in light of the Christmas deadline and upcoming finals.  Instead, I made a word document, culled the 120 best cards from all editions of the deck, and formatted it for easy cutting.  Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the printed decks.  However, I uploaded the document file I used.  It is in an unusual font so it may not show up well on many computers.  http://home.ripway.com/2004-1/50863/ObliqueStrategies4.doc

Pretty cards were only half of the work.  The decks had to have equally elegant boxes to go in.  After finals, I finally made a trip to Micheals and got four little trinket boxes, primer and glossy black spray paint.  While I was doing the actual painting, I covered the metal parts with rubber cement.  In hindsight, that just made things more difficult and I shouldn't have bothered with covering them because they would have come out fine anyway.  And here is a finished box.

The boxes made it to their destinations in time to still be considered New Years gifts.
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« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2004 10:46:56 PM »

Oblique Strategies are mentioned in one of my favorite movies, Slacker. Your set is very cool, thanks for sharing! Grin
« Last Edit: May 29, 2004 10:48:29 PM by Almost Famous » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2004 10:58:45 AM »

That box is so shiny.  How did you make it?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2004 11:55:30 AM »

Ok.  I got more pictures.  The white deck is from the handmade decks I was going to send out and gave up on.  The blue deck is the one I made for myself.  What's nice about handwriting the deck is that you can arrange the phrases all over the card in different formations.  Give you a little more flexibility, but it is more time consuming.  What's nice about printing them out is that it looks much cleaner and neater and all you have to do is cut them out, but you don't get the same touch.
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2004 11:57:27 AM »

What are the Oblique Strategies?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2004 12:03:42 PM »


^This website will tell you everything you could want to know about the Oblique Strategies. 
"The Oblique Strategies are a deck of cards. Up until 1996, they were quite easy to describe. They measured about 2-3/4" x 3-3/4". They came in a small black box which said "OBLIQUE STRATEGIES" on one of the top's long sides and "BRIAN ENO/PETER SCHMIDT" on the other side. The cards were solid black on one side, and had the aphorisms printed in a 10-point sans serif face on the other.

The deck itself had its origins in the discovery by Brian Eno that both he and his friend Peter Schmidt tended to keep a set of basic working principles which guided them through the kinds of moments of pressure - either working through a heavy painting session or watching the clock tick while you're running up a big buck studio bill. Both Schmidt and Eno realized that the pressures of time tended to steer them away from the ways of thinking they found most productive when the pressure was off. The Strategies were, then, a way to remind themselves of those habits of thinking - to jog the mind."

« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2004 07:16:10 PM »

While I was doing the actual painting, I covered the metal parts with rubber cement.  In hindsight, that just made things more difficult and I shouldn't have bothered with covering them because they would have come out fine anyway.  And here is a finished box.

What brand of spray paint did you use?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2004 09:20:46 PM »

Gray Plasti-kote sandable primer and Rustoleum glossy black.
I did it in a parking garage and was messed up from the fumes for several hours. Embarrassed
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2004 03:19:03 PM »

I was quite curious about these when I stumbled on this post yesterday,so I took a chance & "saved" the .doc file linked to an earlier post. I opened the file & saw what they actually were. I, in turn made my own, enlarging the font a bit & also changing it to a more unique looking one- Dauphin. I printed these onto a cardstock-like paper & cutted them out (They're not the same size, it's hard to cut the lines when they're very faint.).

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everything is so neat!

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« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2004 07:44:15 PM »

i like these a lot!

is there a standard set of sayings or did you make up your own?

There's no such thing as too much information, so: All About My Vagina
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