Sunday, May 20, 2007

visual music

Ah, he's done it again. Brian Eno, the ambient music pioneer, is also a visual artist, if you didn't know. His latest project, entitled 77 Million Paintings, is a series of paintings he likes to think of as visual music.
This could be considered an example of synaesthetic art, in my humble. That is, art blurring its modes (in this case audio and visual) in much the same way that what are ordinarily considered discreet human perceptions are blurred, as when a person involuntarily attributes a colour to a word or a noise connotes movement for them.
So, Eno has furthered his 'generative' art model, whereby he creates a piece, or in this case a whole bunch of pieces, and feeds them into a randomising system that creates something wholly new out of the given elements. Meaning that the resulting work(s) of art are out of his control once set in motion. So in a sense, he is
more the author of the system than the resultant work(s). By his own admission, Eno has always been as much interested in effecting structures and strategies and processes as defining the elements within each of his art works.
The seventy-seven-million paintings are a series of paintings and pictures that he's produced over the years, randomly superimposed over each other on a television screen or a monitor, set to some of his own randomly played music. The number of potential new works created out of these pre-existing ones equals seventy-seven-million, hence the title. So the tv screen becomes a canvas that can accommodate a near infinite (as far as human viewing experience and memory will permit) number of works.
I think he calls this visual music because there is a performative aspect to the resulting works of art, much like, for example, his pieces Ambient #1 - Music for Airports, Discreet Music or Neroli (all of which he described as holographic because, as a hologram shows all of its aspects to the viewer simultaneously, so too does a holographic piece of music disclose its entirety to the listener in a single instance). His Thursday Afternoon (also holographic),
accompanied an exhibition of a video paintings Eno made in the 80's. A series of very slow motion films displayed on large television screens. 77-Million Paintings seems to be a contemporary extrapolation of that idea available for your loungeroom. Eno's released it as disc that allows you to turn your loungeroom into an art installation so you can screen his generative visual music/ video paintings on your giant plasma screen - assuming you have one (which I don't).
Evolving art in the comfort of your loungeroom. Nice.
Now Playing: Brian Eno - Ikebukuro

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At 10:11 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Three concerts of extraordinary electroacoustic & contemporary music.
Spatial sound concerts featuring performances by SIAL staff,
post-graduates and guests. This year's program includes new works from
composers and sound designers working in the Studios, a feature concert of
chamber music by Karlheinz Stockhausen, and electroacoustic works
recasting the soundscape of urban environments.

Free admission to all concerts
When: 24-26 May
Where: Meat Market, 42 Courtney Street, North Melbourne

—oskar matzerath

At 12:31 am, Blogger Dreck said...

Free Stockhausen?
I'm there!

At 7:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dreck likes scary pictures!!

timid oskar must run to avoid nightmares!!


At 9:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

music for airports, fuckin' ace!

At 9:19 pm, Blogger Dreck said...

Fuck, yeah!


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