Brian Eno interviewed by Peter Halley in Index magazine:
BRIAN: Yes. It led me to my theory that cities are places built for women.
BRIAN: In cities, you have the opportunity to do all the things that women are really specialized at: intense social relationships and interactions, attention to lots of simultaneous details. And of course in cities you can do very few of the things that men are good at.
PETER: Like what?
BRIAN: You can’t break anything in a city. Everything is valuable, so you’re limited in how much you can test the physical nature of things — which I think is a big part of a man’s make up.
PETER: Many urbanists say that public life in the eighteenth century — which is when the modern city began to take shape — was available only to men. Do you think a female city was always there under the surface?
BRIAN: I do. One of the peaks of civilization in the west was the salon. They were nearly always the invention and ongoing project of women.
PETER: I’m a real devotee of the German sociologist, Norbert Elias. He would say that the first female-oriented societies were the aristocratic courts, and that the salon would be an outgrowth of that.
BRIAN: Don’t you think the court is in a way the original city? It’s a congregation of people who aren’t related, so it’s not a clan, and they’re in very close proximity, which always gives rise to manners.
PETER: Elias also gives the court credit for the invention of psychology.
BRIAN: Oh that’s interesting.
Not quite sure what to make of this. I’m, er, generally averse to such generalisation, no matter how well-meaning. Still, at least makes you stop and think. Also some good stuff later in the interview on Richard Sennett. And this nice quote on music:
Eno: “What I value more than anything else about the music business is its distribution system. Records, record shops, and concerts are ways of distributing things to a lot of people. I like the idea of saying, “Here’s this incredibly well organized, powerful and pervasive machine — I want to be part of it.”
[aside: note how the interview suddenly stops, apparently halfway through the word ‘censorship’]
Index magazine interviews Brian Eno.
[via Peter Marsh – thanks!]
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