Brian Eno inspired exhibition in the Royal Hibernian Academy until the
Conceived by Eno as ‘visual music’, 77 Million Paintings, a constantly evolving sound and image-scape born from his continuous exploration into light as an artist’s medium and the aesthetic possibilities of generative software, will be installed at the RHA Gallery, January 2019. This ever-changing, large-scale music and light installation evolves slowly around the audience, who can relate to it as a conventional painting while aware that the same combination of images will never be seen again.
77 Million Paintings is an example of what Brian Eno calls ‘generative art’: “One of the things which strongly draws me to generative art is the idea that the thing is so big, in that there are so many variations, that not even the artist can see all the possibilities.
Since my first experiments with light and sound in the late 1960’s, I’ve never ceased to be fascinated by the amazingly intricate, complex and unpredictable results produced by simple deterministic systems. Out of simplicity, complexity arises. That is for me the most incredible idea of evolution theory and of cybernetics. John Cage once said: “The function of art is to imitate nature in her manner of operation” and that has been an objective for me throughout my working life.”
Musician, producer, visual artist, thinker and activist Brian Eno first came to international prominence in the early ‘70s as a founding member of Roxy Music, immediately followed by a series of critically praised and influential solo albums. His visionary production includes albums with Talking Heads, Devo, Laurie Anderson, U2 and Coldplay, whilst his long list of collaborations includes recordings with David Bowie, John Cale, David Byrne, Grace Jones, James Blake and many others.
Equally notable and arguably even more prolific are his visual experiments with light and video. These are the fertile ground from which so much of his other work has grown. They cover an even longer span of time than his recordings and have in recent decades paralleled his musical output. These highly-acclaimed works have been exhibited all over the globe – from the Venice Biennale and the Marble Palace in St. Petersburg to Beijing’s