September 12 – December 13, 2009
Using sophisticated computer software and audio boom boxes, 77 Million Paintings features constantly changing images and musical compositions, which challenge the notion that the artist must be in control. Eno’s input simply sets the trajectory for the work to evolve into patterns that have the potential for surprising him as well as the audience. The exhibition consists of a wall of twelve monitors (of varying dimensions) that reflect the parameters Eno has programmed into several computers. The images slowly transform into a virtually endless series of visual configurations.
During the 1990s, Eno became increasingly interested in self-generating systems. Generative Art, as he called it, allows an artwork to take on a life of its own. Generative Music, for example, blends several independent musical tracks in such a way that the listener could hear an almost infinite array of permutations. Eno soon realized that he had hit on a new cultural nerve. Today the idea has spread to graphic arts, design and beyond. In his major Generative Art project, 77 Million Paintings, Eno creates audio and visual clusters, gives them a set of rules they must follow, and observes them forming and re-forming their own little artistic communes.