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Brian Eno - 77 Million Paintings CD (album) cover


Brian Eno


Progressive Electronic

4.13 | 5 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars Turn off your mind relax and float down-stream, you'll see perpetual change. If you had to sum up this video in words those two lines borrowed from progressive song lyrics come close to summing up this experience.

Eno has made one of his audio/visual installations that you can play at home. You can't play this on a conventional DVD player, although there is a 33 minute DVD disc included that has Eno explaining this piece at the beginning and then is filled up with a capture from it. The actual piece itself is a computer program that generates a slow and steady stream of morphing images combined with a slow and steady stream of morphing music. The base set of images are taken from over 300 "hand" drawing made by Eno, himself. 77 million is a very conservative estimate of all the possibilities. You can run this perpetually and never get the same exact image twice, although it is made up a finite set of images and sounds. If you can hook your computer (works on Mac and PC) up to a high definition TV, you'll get the most out of this experience. There are pictures in the booklet, it comes in a hard cover book format, that show the piece in an installation with an array of multiple screens of varying sizes, showing varying states of the image flow. That would be something to experience live.

The image morphing flows at almost a glacial pace. You do get active speed control, but it's hard to see the difference between the slowest and fastest. Might be more interesting if you could crank it up more to the kind of speed you can get with some fractal generators, but I guess the whole point is subtelety.

I can't help but rate this as essential even though it's not for those who are easily bored. In fact Eno has noticed two types of people at his installations, those who will listen and watch for a few seconds or a minute and those who will sit mesmerized and let them selves get lost in the work for much longer periods of time, even hours.

It takes his Thursday Afternoon video concept to the next level, made possible by current computer technology. There's really nothing else like this out there. It's a limited edition, so get it while you can.

Possibly the last video you'll ever need.

Slartibartfast | 4/5 |


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