I’ve had lots of conversations with James Huckenpahler in which the words ‘create programming that make art’ occur. It’s no small coincidence that one of James’s heroes, Brian Eno, has been thinking along the same lines.
Art News reports in the December issue about Eno’s project “77 Million Paintings,” built out of the abstract images Eno’s been drawing for the past 18 years. The 300 images overlap in kaleidoscope fashion to create permutations for which, according to Eno, not even the creator can predict the result. He likens the work to a ’seed’ rather than a defined, finished thing.
This work is an obvious parallel with music that Eno has been producing since the ambient “Music for Airports,” and he says as much in interviews about this project. And like the groundbreaking soundscapes, this visual project not only creates the art but envisions the experience of it. Eno reports that the release of the “77 Million Paintings” now is made possible by the current trend in TV and computer technology. He envisions this project as the answer to the question, ‘what do you do with that big, cinema display screen when you’re not watching movies.’ The morphing format of the image is made possible by speedy processors that allow the work to be truly generative, via programming, rather than a recorded show, like a DVD slide show.
via Marketwire, the “77 Million Paintings” package, which is published by All Saints/Hannibal/Ryko, features an exclusive interview DVD, limited-edition deluxe numbered packaging that includes a 52-page hard-bound book with an extensive essay by Eno covering his career as a visual artist, fully illustrated with previously unseen images and a generative software disc playable on Mac or PC.
You can get the flavor, a description from Eno, and watch the “painting” at Rykodisc’s site. The package sells for under $40, but be sure you have a DVD player or computer that’s compatible.
image: one of 77 million permutations of Brian Eno’s “77 Million Paintings.”