“Now, you’ve been quoted as saying that your involvement with recording—with media in general, indeed, represents the future.” — “That’s correct.” — “And conversely, the concert stage, the opera house, or whatever, represents the past—an aspect of your own past, in particular perhaps as well as, in more general terms, music’s past.” — “That’s true” — “I hope you’ll forgive me for saying that these ideas are only partly justified. Also, I feel that you, Mr. Gould, have foregone the privilege that is rightfully yours of communicating with an audience.” — “From a power base?” — “From a setting in which naked fact of your humanity is unedited and unadorned.” — “Couldn’t I at least be allowed to display tuxedoed fallacy perhaps?” – “Please, Mr. Gould, we shouldn’t allow this conversation to degenerate. I’ve tried to pose the question in all candor and…“ — “Well then I’ll try and answer likewise. To me the ideal audience-to-artist relationship is a one-to-zero relationship. That’s the moral objection.” — “Run that by me again?” — “First I’m not at all happy with words like “public” and “artist” or the hierarchical implications of that kind of terminology. The artist should be granted anonymity. He should be permitted to operate in secret, as it were unconcerned with, or better still, unaware of the marketplace’s demands which demands, given enough indifference on the part of enough artists will simply disappear. Given that disappearance, the artist will then abandon his false sense of public responsibility and his audience, or “public,” will relinquish its — role of servile dependency.” — “And never the twain shall meet.” — “No they’ll make contact, but on a much more meaningful level.” — “Well, Mr. Gould, I’m well aware that this sort of idealistic role swapping has a certain rhetorical flourish. The creative audience concept of which you’ve spoken at length elsewhere has a kind of McLuhan-esque fascination. But you conveniently forget that the artist, however hermetic his life, is still, in effect, an autocratic figure. He’s still, however benevolently, a social dictator and his public, however generously enfranchised by electronic options, is still on the receiving end of the experience. All your neomedieval anonymity quest on behalf of the “artist-as-zero” and all your vertical pan-culturalism on behalf of his “public” won’t change it.” — “May l speak now?” — “Of course. Sorry to get carried away. But I do feel strongly about the…” — “…about the artist as Superman?” — “That’s not quite fair Mr. Gould.” — “Or about the interlocutor as controller of conversation perhaps?” — “There’s no need to be rude.” —…— “What about this? If you imagine that the artist…” [Gould meets Gould, Text by Glenn Gould]