“Oblique Strategies is a deck of cards, 7×9 cm in size, supplied in a small black box. The cards themselves are black on one side, white on the other, and have obscure, cryptic aphorisms printed on the front in small letters.
The texts were originally intended as a creative tool for musicians:
‘The Oblique Strategies evolved from me being in a number of working situations when the panic of the situation – particularly in studios – tended to make me quickly forget that there were others ways of working and that there were tangential ways of attacking problems that were in many senses more interesting than the direct head-on approach. If you’re in a panic, you tend to take the head-on approach because it seems to be the one that’s going to yield the best results Of course, that often isn’t the case – it’s just the most obvious and – apparently – reliable method. The function of the Oblique Strategies was, initially, to serve as a series of prompts which said, “Don’t forget that you could adopt *this* attitude,” or “Don’t forget you could adopt *that* attitude.”’