77 Million Paintings

December 1, 2006

gallery3.jpgBrian Eno has just released a DVD by the title of 77 Million Paintings. It is the first release of a large-scope project: in Eno’s own words, it is “Two things in one – it’s firstly a software engine that allows things to be configured and shuffled, and secondly it’s a stack of images that I have made that are then manipulated by that engine”.

In this first release there are 300 images, scanned at high resolution from Eno’s paintings, that the software fades randomly in succession, layering four of them at the same time. The visual effect is stunning: colours, drawings, modified pictures and images that slowly morph one into the other, all this on top of a beautiful soundtrack obviously produced by Eno himself. The artist states that the projection of the result of such manipulation is something between TV, painting and cinema. Personally I would think it is something far beyond…

gallery5.jpg77 million is the number of all the possible combinations: the software allows the morphing speed to be changed, but such number is so large that even at the fastest speed it would take 9000 years to visualise them all…

This piece of art is already very much enjoyable – one could spend hours being lulled by sounds and lights (veeeery psychedelich… 😉 ) but the next steps of the project would foresee the distribution of the morphing software, which would allow users to manipulate their own images.

But the nicest thing is that buying the DVD allows you the free use for non-commercial purposes of Eno’s compound images, as long as the artist and the title of the work are given credit. In practice the copyright is on the DVD and on the single images. Eno is on the path of saintliness…
Below is the copyright note of 77 Million Paintings:

COPYRIGHT© 2006 All Saints Records / Wordsalad, under license to Rykodisc.
All rights reserved.
Please do not copy this software.
However, you are welcome to use the compound images 77 Million Paintings generates for any non-commercial purposes you wish BUT PLEASE CREDIT THE ARTIST AND 77 MILLION PAINTINGS.
All compound images © Brian Eno


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