Brian Eno's light paintings

Cool. I can think of several emulation projects based off of Eno's technique, which is meant to be a living painting for use on your television, when the television is off, natch. Some images are actually photographs, digitized and blended, and some images are hand painted onto slides.

77 Million Paintings by Brian Eno
“77 Million Paintings by Brian Eno” (All Saints)

77 Million paintings screenshot Brian Eno

Apple - Pro - Profiles - Brian Eno, p. 1 : ... Eno knew that that it would be easy to display his light paintings on a high-definition screen, but he wanted something more. He 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.”

For image processing, he turned to graphic artist Nick Robertson. Dominic Norman Taylor, the head of All Saints Records, came on board to help with production. Programmer and digital video specialist Jake Dowie was hired to compile the program that would ultimately fuse Eno’s light paintings into new creations
More than 300 Eno paintings — most of them scratched or inked onto slides — were digitized for “77 Million Paintings.” Robertson painstakingly scanned and retouched every one using Adobe Photoshop and a Mac. “I was taking handcrafted elements and incorporating them into digital environments,” he says. “And the transition from the original painting to the digital version is almost seamless.” Robertson labored for more than a year, touching up each image and adding transparent and translucent sections to allow overlap. Once the images were scanned and processed, it was up to Dowie to make them grow within the confines of a computer.

“What Brian really wanted to do was to make sure it was more like a piece of art than a screensaver,” says Dowie. “The challenge was taking the images and working out very simple routines to randomly put them on the screen while keeping them in a high-resolution state. And we had to make it as simple as possible so there wasn’t a very high load on the processor. It was a lot of trial and error, but eventually we came up with a solution.” In its final iteration, “77 Million Paintings” displays from one to four images on the screen simultaneously. Some of Eno’s paintings are strictly background JPEGS; the rest are translucent PNG files that fade in and out above them.

Visit Eno's website (with audio, and commentary) to see the 'not-screensaver'. Akin to a director's commentary. Probably created to be on the DVD, actually. Fascinating.

Eno's Life in the Bush of Ghosts released recently, sans one track.

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This page contains a single entry by swanksalot published on November 10, 2006 7:33 PM.

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