Although he is perhaps more famous for his musical output, Brian Eno has had a long career as a visual artist with his work exhibited in scores of galleries across the globe for more than 25 years. The Limited Edition 77 Million Paintings features an exclusive interview DVD in which Brian Eno discusses his creation of the 77 Million Paintings software, the next evolutionary stage of his exploration into light as an artist's medium and the aesthetic possibilities of "generative software." The bonus software disc creates a constantly evolving, slowly changing "light painting" on the screen of your computer or TV with a virtually infinite number of variations accompanied by the music of Brian Eno. This deluxe package also includes a 52-page book featuring an extensive essay by Eno.
He's the avatar of ambient and one of the original glitterati of glam, but Brian Eno started as a visual
artist before he became captivated by sound and synthesis. Nearly 30 years ago, he began a return to the visual arts, and has synthesized a career that now runs in intersecting parallels with his music. From his first video, Mistaken Memories of Mediaeval Manhattan
, Eno's work has evolved into light sculptures that reflect his music, slowly morphing illuminated shapes shifting in seemingly infinite patterns. On 77 Million Paintings
, Eno adapts his concepts to a computer program that constantly shifts his patterns in layers. Some of them are abstract, some luminescent. There are almost Keith Haring-like patterns countered by a Jackson Pollock splatter-and-drip approach, but all are constantly mutating and combining. Like painting in motion, every subtle move and overlay creates a new picture--hence the title. In fact, every time the program is launched, the images are different, and if you run it forever, it will effectively never repeat. Eno has married his images to an equally morphing soundscape, a nonlinear, constantly shifting sound field of gong and vibe-like tones, drone pads, and odd, whooshing sounds and ambiences. Like his ambient music, it's meant to work in the background, but can also draw you into to its glacially evolving world. The program is packaged in a set with a hardbound book in which Eno details the evolution of his light art and a DVD that includes an interview with Eno and a video rendition of the program. Eno has often followed the Satie idea of furniture music--now he extends that concept to your TV and computer. --John Diliberto