INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
24 Hour Museum FEBRUARY 9, 2007 - by Melina Greenfield
BRIAN ENO: A NEW COLLECTION OF LIGHT ART AT BALTIC
Baltic in Gateshead is currently displaying The Constellations (77 Million Paintings), an exhibition of ever-changing artworks by Brian Eno. The free exhibition runs until April 15 2007 and gives a welcome airing to the work of an artist perhaps best known as a musician and pioneer of all things ambient.
Eno has never been scared to push the boundaries and this UK debut for his light drawings shows a typically innovative approach to displaying art. A computer programme he has created continually merges virtual paintings to create seventy-seven million different versions of his work, which means every viewer will be coming away with a different experience.
"We are used to artists producing defined and finished things - what's interesting about this kind of generative work is that I can't possibly predict the outcome of 77 Million Paintings," said Eno.
To create the exhibition the paintings were scratched or etched onto slides and then digitised; the ever-evolving work is then shown on a variety of screens. Fittingly the show includes an ambient soundtrack - you could call it 'visual music'.
Peter Doroshenko, Baltic Director, said: "Brian Eno's work is constantly pushing the boundaries between convention and innovation. We are hugely excited to host the work of this pioneering artist to Baltic."
Eno devotees should however take note: it has been estimated that to watch the entire show on the fastest software would take over nine thousand years. To watch all the permutations would take several million years.
Having worked for many years in visual art, Eno applies the same standards and creativity to his generative light works as he does to producing music of the same genre. Fans of his classic albums Music For Airports (1978) and Neroli (1993) may find something familiar in 77 Million Paintings.
The paintings have had an outing before at the 50th International Festival of Contemporary Music at the Venice Biennale and the Milan Triennale 2006, but for now they are settling comfortably into their new home at Baltic, which, rather like Eno, is a fast becoming a world leader in the presentation of contemporary visual art.
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