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In other projects Wikimedia Commons. Further exploration of the boundaries between cinema and painting in Thursday Afternoon , 7 video paintings of Eno's friend Christine Alicino, again called into question the viewers' traditional relationship with television. In the liner notes to the video Thursday Afternoon released by Sony Japan in Eno writes: "So long as video is regarded only as an extension of film or television, increasing hysteria and exoticism is its most likely future.
Our background as television viewers has conditioned us to expect that things on screens change dramatically and in significant temporal sequence, and has therefore reinforced a rigid relationship between viewer and screen — you sit still and it moves. I am interested in a type of work which does not necessarily suggest this relationship: a more steady-state image-based work which one can look at and walk away from as one would a painting: it sits still and you move.
Thursday Afternoon was a return to using figurative form, for Eno had by now begun "to think that I could use my TVs as light sources rather than as image sources. The fact that this prodigious possibility had almost exclusively been used to reproduce figurative images in the service of narratives pointed to evolution of the medium from the theatre and cinema. What I thought was that this machine, which pumped out highly controllable light, was actually the first synthesizer, and that its use as an imager-retailer represented a subset of its possible range.
Turning the TV on its back, Eno played video colour fields of differing lengths of time that would slowly re-combine in different configurations. Placing ziggurats 3 dimensional constructions of different lengths and sizes on top of the screens that defined each separate colour field, these served to project the internal light source upward.
Its slowly changing hues and striking colour collisions were addictive. We sat watching for ages, transfixed by this totally new experience of light as a physical presence. Calling these light sculptures Crystals first shown in Boston in , Eno further developed them for the Pictures of Venice exhibition at Gabriella Cardazzo's Cavallino Gallery Venice, Placing plexiglass on top of the structures he found that these further diffused the light so the shapes outlined through this surface appeared to be described differently in the slowly changing fields of light.
Creating installations liberated Eno from the constraints of stereo records. Since Discreet Music in , Eno had been making music that in theory could be infinitely long because it was the result of the systems and processes that he'd set up.
For release as an album, only a section of the music could be recorded. The album format simply could not deliver the experience he envisaged, which was an environment of potentially unending non-repeating music. Not only is an album finite in length, it repeats the same each time it's played and is typically heard out of two loudspeakers. By positioning sound sources in different places and different heights in the exhibition room Eno intended that the music would be something you were inside of rather than sitting outside of listening to.
For the I Dormienti show in that featured sculptures of sleeping figures by Mimmo Paladino in the middle of the circular room, Eno placed speakers in each of the 12 tunnels running from it. A particular sonic element played through each one: by standing in the centre of the room you would hear the music coming out of all the tunnels, so you'd hear a mix in the middle. But if you walked into a tunnel, then you would hear the localised sound of one instrument, or musical element.
Envisioning the speakers themselves as instruments, led to Eno's 'speaker flowers' becoming a feature of many installations, including at the Museo dell' Ara Pacis Rome, , again with Mimmo Paladino and 'Speaker Flowers and Lightboxes' at Castello Svevo in Trani Italy Re-imagining the speaker as a flower with a voice that could be heard as it moved in the breeze, he made 'bunches' of them, "sculptural objects that Since ' On Land ' Eno has sought to blur the boundaries between music and non-music and incorporates environmental sounds into his work.
He treats synthesised and recorded sounds for specific affect, so that as a listener you can't then tell which of the sounds are part of the presentation and which are part of the outside world. It is music with 'a soft horizon' and the intention is that the listener initially questioning what is and what isn't music, will get into a relaxed state of mind where they hear it all as music. The antithesis of 20th Century Shock art , Eno's works create environments that are: "Envisioned as extensions of everyday life while offering a refuge from its stresses.
The Quiet Club series grew from Eno's site-specific installations that included the Place series These also featured light sculptures and audio with the addition of conventional materials, such as "tree trunks, fish bowls, ladders, rocks". Eno used these in unconventional ways to create new and unexpected experiences and modes of engagements, offering an extension of and refuge from, everyday life.
The continually flowing non-repeating music and art of Eno's installations mitigate against habituation to the work and maintain the visitors' engagement with it. It's somewhere between the experience of painting, cinema, music and meditation I dispute the assumption that everyone's attention span is getting shorter: I find people are begging for experiences that are longer and slower, less "dramatic" and more sensual.
In Eno's work, both art and music are released from their normal constraints. The music set up to randomly reconfigure is modal and abstract rather than tonal, and so the listener is freed from expectations set up by Western tonal harmonic conventions. Developments in computer technology meant that the experience of Eno's unending non-repeatable generative art and music was no longer only possible in the public spaces of his exhibitions.
Developed for both PC and Mac, the process is explained by Nick Robertson in the accompanying booklet. The selection of the elements and their duration in the painting is variable and arbitrarily determined…" . Most Nearly all of the visual 'elements' were hand-painted by Eno onto glass slides, creating an organic heart to the work.
Some of the slides had formed his earlier 'Natural Selections' exhibition projected onto the windows of the Triennale in Milan. This exhibition marked the beginning of Eno's site specific installations that re-defined spaces on a large scale. For the Triennale exhibition, Eno with Rolf Engel and Roland Blum at Atelier Marktgraph, used new 'dataton' technology that could be programmed to control the fade up and out times of the light sources. With the computer programmed to randomly select a combination of up to four images of different durations, the on screen painting continually reconfigures as each image slowly dissolves whilst another appears.
The painting will be different for every viewer in every situation, uniquely defining each moment. Eno likens his role in creating this piece to one of a gardener planting seeds. And like a gardener he watches to see how they grow, waiting to see if further intervention is necessary. Although designed for the domestic environment, 77 million paintings has been and continues to be exhibited in multi-screen installations across the world. During an exhibition at Fabrica Brighton, the orthopaedic surgeon Robin Turner noticed the calming effect the work had on the visitors.
Since then 77 Million and Eno's latest "Light Boxes" have been commissioned for use in hospitals.
They display an evolving collage of coloured patterns and shapes whilst Eno's generative ambient music plays discreetly in the background. The other aptly named "Quiet Room for Montefiore" available for patients, visitors and staff is a space set apart for meditative reflection. It is a moderately sized room with three large panels displaying dissolves of subtle colours in patterns that are reminiscent of Mondrian paintings.
The environment brings Eno's ambient music into focus and facilitates the visitors' cognitive drift, freeing them to contemplate or relax. Eno composed most of the music for the Electronic Arts video game Spore , assisted by his long term collaborator, the musician and programmer Peter Chilvers. Much of the music is generative and responsive to the player's position within the game. Inspired by possibilities presented to Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers whilst working together on the generative soundtrack for the video game Spore the two began to release generative music in the Apple App format.
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They set up the website generativemusic. As Apple had started increasing prices for Apps sold in UK, they lowered its price. For those who'd bought the app at a higher price, Eno and Chilvers provided links to a free download of a four track album called 'Sisters' each track with a duration.