December 17, 2006
77 Million Paintings by Brian Eno
“What I’m really doing when I work generatively is I’m making seeds," says musician and visual artist Brian Eno, in this profile on Apple.com. Then I’m planting them, in the case of ‘77 Million Paintings,’ in your computer. Then the seed grows into all the different kinds of flowers it can produce.” The result is his 77 Million Paintings project, visual and sound art created with the help of Adobe Director, Photoshop, and Illustrator, and designed to be experienced on one’s own computer or via a live, ever-changing installation. This three-minute video from the project site gives a taste of the work & the ideas behind it.
According to the Apple site, more than 300 Eno paintings — most of them scratched or inked onto slides — were digitized for 77 Million Paintings. Collaborator Nick Robertson painstakingly scanned and retouched every one using Photoshop and a Mac. Of the travelling installation they write, "Eno and his team have designed and constructed several configurations for the live shows, including a massive pyramid of monitors enveloped by mirrors. ‘The floor and sides of the room were mirrored and the pyramid was effectively turned into a diamond,’ says Robertson." A few additional photos of the live installation are here.
[For more on generative art, see this post on Josh Davis’s work with Illustrator scripting.]