A DEFINITION OF MENTORSHIP
In Simon Reynold’s great history of post-punk, Rip It Up and Start Again, the critic describes trips taken by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt (who, with Eno, co-created Oblique Strategies, a set of simple directives on playing cards — example: “Don’t avoid what is easy” — intended as creative aids) to the British art school Watford in the ’70s where Eno would help students with projects. On some nights Eno and Schmidt would give Colin Newman, founding member of Wire (pictured), a lift, and Newman’s quote is a good description of how one generation supports another when it comes to the practice of art:
In my view, humans are inherently creative, but there is a process by which a particular individual becomes an artist, meaning that they can say they are an artist without being pretentious. If that happened at any given point to me it was during those car journeys. As soon as I stepped in that car I was no longer just a rather poor student but a friend and an equal, an artist sitting in a car with other artists. I could babble on about my ideas.”
Another free Downtown Show event worth checking out is Friday 3/31’s Nightclubbing: The Original Punk Rock Music Video Series, which is at the Cantor Film Center, 36 East Eighth Street, starts at 6PM, and has live footage of Contortions, DNA, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, Suicide, Talking Heads, Bush Tetras, Lounge Lizards, the Voidoids, Cramps, Pylon, John Cale, Bad Brains, and many more, and is followed by a discussion between the curators of the event Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong moderated by Amos Poe.
Many of the bands contained in the program, which are also written about in Reynolds’ book, are featured in TV Party, the old public access show recently re-issued on DVD.