The North American premiere of 77 Million Paintings by Brian Eno was presented through the Long Now Foundation at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, California in 2007. The evolution from Eno’s original drawings to the digitized versions took a team of specialists several steps including scanning and AdobePhotoshop (10-4) to execute Eno’s vision of how the installation would unfurl itself. Though the installation appears carefree, there has been much precise preparation behind the scenes for the layers of digital imagery, and movement of light (10+9). Rather than just having one painting be the end result, Eno has created over 77 million (10+7) paintings.
Here are excerpts from Dustin Driver’s interview with Brian Eno titled ‘Brian Eno: Let There Be Light’:
“Brian Eno paints with light… (and) would create a program that could, on its own, continually generate new artwork for the viewer. The concept is called ‘generative’ and it produces a remarkable amount of artwork. ‘What I’m really doing when I work generatively is I’m making seeds. Then I’m planting them, in the case of ‘77 Million Paintings,’ in your computer,’ says Eno. ‘Then the seed grows into all the different kinds of flowers it can produce.’”
“One’s work is so much determined by the tools that one has. If you sit down with a piano you will write different music than if you sit down with a guitar or if you sit down with a violin. What you make is so much conditioned by the materials that you’re using to make it. And (Pro)Logic is a very, very versatile, flexible, and strong material. I’m always finding things that I can do in Logic that I didn’t know I could do.”
The success of 77 Million Paintings has led Eno to present it at many venues in Tokyo, London and Milan. Each time he looks at a new setting with fresh eyes to see what opportunities it offers.