The other night we saw a LongNow event, featuring Will Wright and Brian Eno. As Stewart Brand writes (in that link) “In a dazzling duet Will Wright and Brian Eno gave an intense clinic on the joys and techniques of ‘generative’ creation. “
Elsewhere on the web I found some great quotes from the event:
B.E. :: ‘ .. culture is everything that you don’t have to do, like choosing to style your hair in a certain way… what would it be like to be a person with hair like that? … the act of surrender is agreeing to live life under those values…’
W.W. :: on game design ‘… like a japanese zen garden, your garden is not complete until you cannot remove anything else.’
I was surprised no one mentioned Joshua Davis who does something similar writing algorithms that create art. Nice Wired piece here (the relevant-to-the-LongNow-event stuff is on page 2).
This was the best presentation I have ever seen. My brain was just ready to explode about a million times. The audio and video will be up on their site by the end of the week, and I’m definitely going to watch it.
There were a lot of Big Ideas, and the two presenters engaged each other in a wonderful dialog; they were smart, articulated, experienced (“well, when Bowie and I….”) and great listeners; building together. I’ve seen other presentations that try to accomplish this sort of thing but nothing has ever even come close.
I think one lesson for session organizers is that this stuff doesn’t come off spontaneously. If people are going to perform together (i.e. be part of a panel discussion), they need to interact, to learn about each other and each other’s work. I wish our recent Design 2.0 panel had done some of this; I’m sure our discussion would have been better if we had formed some sort of team ahead of time.