MORE DARK THAN SHARK - FEATURE
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
77 MILLION PAINTINGS BY BRIAN ENO
Groundbreaking Limited Edition DVD/Art Software Package
On September 25, 2006, Brian Eno released 77 Million Paintings (All Saints/Hannibal/Ryko), which sees the continued evolution of Eno's exploration into light as an artist's medium and the aesthetic possibilities of "generative software." This groundbreaking release features: 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.
Although he is perhaps more famous for his musical output, Eno has had a long career as a visual artist and has worked with generative light compositions in the same way that he has worked with generative music on classic albums such as Music For Airports (1978) and Neroli (1993). His visual work has been exhibited in galleries across the globe - see partial list below - and installations of 77 Million will be going to the Biennales of both Venice and Milan this year.
The 77 Million Paintings software disc uses the screen of your computer or television to create a constantly evolving painting. The painting is generated from hand-made slides that are randomly combined by the computer using specially developed software. The software processes the music that accompanies the paintings in a similar way so the selection of elements and their duration in the piece are arbitrarily chosen, forming a virtually infinite number of variations. The result is that having created the seed of the work it becomes unpredictable even to the artist himself - and every viewer also has a unique experience of the painting.
The prevalence of powerful home computers means that it is now possible to mass-produce and distribute this art. This brings the concept of Eno's generative light installations from the controlled space of the gallery into the viewer's home and creates what Eno describes as "visual music" on what would otherwise be a dead space in the room. But it also raises questions about the concept of the "original" in art that Walter Benjamin could not have imagined when he wrote The Work Of Art In The Age Of Mechanical Reproduction. Millions of Eno originals will be created and then disappear only to be replaced by millions more.
Eno's artwork has been shown at scores of galleries, arts festivals and biennales across the globe. Since his first installation at the Kitchen Centre for the Performing Arts in New York in 1979 he has created installations at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; New Gallery of Contemporary Art, Cleveland; Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; The New Museum, New York; The Art Gallery, Toronto; Vancouver Art Gallery; Espace Lyonnais d'Art Contemporain; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; ICA, London; Concord Gallery, New York; Galleria del Cavallino, Venice; Festival of Vienna; La Foret Museum, Tokyo; Centre National d'art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Santa Monica Museum; Seed Gallery, Tokyo; Zwirner Gallerie, Cologne; Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin; Gallerie VVK, Hanover; Galerie Lavalin, Montreal; Royal Danish Academy of Fine Art, Copenhagen; Kiasma Museum of Art, Helsinki; Markthalle, Hamburg; White Cube Gallery, London; Marble Palace, St Petersburg; Hayward Gallery, London; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He has also exhibited work at the Biennales of Sydney (1982), Venice (1986), Adelaide (1988), Milan (1990) and Lyon (2005).