Brian Eno on Art as a Safe Space

Musician and composer, Brian Eno, in his Notting Hill studio in West London, UK.
Musician and composer, Brian Eno, in his Notting Hill studio in West London, UK.

“One of the things that art is doing for us all the time—again I’m using that very broad definition of art—it’s giving us a chance to have feelings about things that are not dangerous.

When you go into a gallery, you might see a most shocking picture. But actually you can leave the gallery. When you listen to a terrifying radio play you can switch the radio off. So one of the things about art is, it offers a safe place for you to have quite extreme and rather dangerous feelings. And the reason you can do that is because you know you can switch it off. So art has a kind of role there as a simulator. It offers you these simulated worlds—a little bit like a plane simulator, you know—the reason you have simulators for learning to fly a 747 is so that you don’t crash too many 747s – you can have a crash and get out and laugh. Well it’s true of art as well.” [Source]

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