Brian Eno On The Ecology Of Culture – ‘Is Art A Luxury?’


Composer, synthesist and artist Brian Eno is featured on the BBC Music John Peel Lecture 2015, discussing his take on the ecology of culture. 

You can listen to Brian Eno’s John Peel Lecture below or via the BBC site:

Eno’s revolves around two underlying questions:

  • Is art a luxury? Or does it have a more fundamental meaning? Eno argues that ‘Art and culture are not a luxury, but the central thing that we do.’
  • If you think the arts are important, what can we do to create an environment in which the arts flourish?

Biographical profile begins at about 5:00 and Eno’s lecture begins at about 8:30.

19 thoughts on “Brian Eno On The Ecology Of Culture – ‘Is Art A Luxury?’

  1. I used to really like Eno’s music, but then I discovered that he used a lot of digital gear to make it. That really turned me off, because only REAL ANALOG synths and gear can make good music. He makes fake music, with fake synths, for fake people, and I’m not fake because I like analog.

    1. So let me get this straight. You like his music, but the fact that he uses digital changes how it sounds so you automatically don´t like it?

      WTF man! Brian Eno is a real innovator both through his solo career and the fantastic albums he has produced in the past. Analog does not make better music than digital, it´s just a different timbre, and different people can make great sounding music on either one.

      Have you ever produced a hit track? Didn’t think so.

        1. I doubt it. If Daniel was being sarcastic he would have ended every sentence with “HA, HA” or added a silly wink emoji.

          1. Yes – just being sarcastic to satire a lot of the posts around here.

            The DX7 is one of my favorite synths, and Brian Eno’s work on it is legendary.

            The Shutov Assembly is amont my favorite synth-based albums.

    2. Daniel, Those comments are not only without any basis, they are highly opinionated and simply idiotic. Get real. There is more to life than Analog. I have a room full of Modulars but I am not fixated on it as the only solution to making music. Grow up!

      1. Woooosh!

        I think your satire detector needs to reboot.

        (look a couple of posts up)

        I’m one of the few synth heads who actually prefers digital synths over analog, especially vintage analog.

    1. Not a fan of his specific philosophy, or the fact that he discusses his philosophies about music? Sincere question.

      1. his philosophies are hit and miss in terms of what i agree with and think is intelligent or not, but his presentation of them always seems heavy handed or clumsy to me, always more than a bit “off”… just IMHO

        but i dont have a problem with anyone doing whatever they want.. because consequences

  2. Brian Eno mixes his 60’s ‘idealism’ with a progressive political stance but essentially he still acts as much the dictator as to what music is. I used to listen to his tripe but it is no longer relevant.

  3. he doesn’t get economics, economics is floored by its use of equilibrium in modelling a society that produces the greatest economic benefit to all through supply and demand. competition is really ancillary argument. it got very utopian towards the end, the belief that progress is necessarily a given of the future will depend heavily on cooperation and the ability to share resources through trade. but thats were it all collapses, because of the fantasy of main stream economics belief that unfettered markets can provide the solution its more likely to be more war and a regression as global warming and environmental disasters end the human race.

    and thats my good new for today

  4. I like Brian Eno. Everything about him. I’ve always liked Brian Eno. He is insightful, witty, talented, smart, ground breaking, and innovative. He opens up the world of musicianship for those of us who are “not musicians”. He makes art accessible and “do’able” for all people, not just the snobby self proclaimed “artists” or “musicians”. This is why I can appreciate Brian Eno. He demystifies the snobbishness and lofty snooty concept of what it is to be an “artist” or “musician” and opens up creativity to ALL people who have an idea. The man can do no wrong.

    1. I agree, I do like Eno and is musings. But that Roxy Music look he had did put the shits up me, he had the look of a grinning child catcher – glad he outgrow that look, far more approachable now.

  5. Did anyone listen to the interview ?? Does any one have anything to say about art and culture ?? “We are what we create.” There, I’ve think I’m the first.
    And I bet money no one can listen to a stream or download and tell me or anyone else what kind of synth someone used on a song. Without having read that they used so and so synth through such and such a device. Don’t fool yourselves…Today there are thousands of products that sound just like this , or just like that. And no one has the ears to do so blindly.
    Not with todays audio quality, or the lack thereof.

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