That was a really mesmerizing combination of music and images - I thought initially that I might get impatient
sitting there watching it morph ('what's this, the art equivalent of muzak???"), but instead I was hypnotized -
it asks that you be in the present moment, watching in expectation for the next unfolding of light. And eating
a hot dog, if you like.
I found it very intriguing that he thought of this as being installed in every home, on every computer. The colors
are beautiful, the music extremely serene. It seems as if its aim (beyond making a lot of money
) is to comfort
and soothe, and maybe inspire. After a day of mind-numbing work at the bank, I think coming home to an
environment like that would be replenishing. It transforms a computer screen into an unassuming reminder, or
placeholder, for beauty. The whole concept is ultimately very kind, isn't it? I found myself daydreaming about a
futuristic home where something like that takes up an entire wall.
He was emphatic that there is no story to tell - but it does tell a story of a sort, doesn't it? The art is recording
itself in our memories only, momentarily chronicling its own history as it progresses and never looks back. With
77 million possible combinations, I guess it would take a very long time to get through them all. It's a little glimpse
The lines/forms/shapes reminded me very much of the influence of cubism, and how that cubism affected
, the American painter (1864-1964). A contemporary of Picasso, he was very much influenced by the
advent of jazz, and his paintings fairly dance, glowing with rhythmic movement:
Just think of the changes he saw in his lifetime! I'm reminded of our own situation now, uniquely poised in history
at the infancy of cyberspace, for instance.
Davis' painting belies an age that wasn't necessarily craving retreat and solace from the blows of a stressful
world like Eno's art does - in fact, it provokes the opposite. Or maybe, like Eno's use of the computer, it's just
reflecting a world very much in transition all around him:
Although his paintings looked abstract, he insisted that it all came from actual observed objects:
You can see (in a painting from his "eggbeater series", Eggbeater, No.4
) his use of negative space that
Eno's shapes reminded me of:
He and Eno share the same kind of willingness to look at the ordinary and find beauty in it. For Eno, it's a blank
computer screen, or simple rhythmic lines and shapes. For Davis, it's ordinary household objects, bits of advertising,
letters of the alphabet, numbers:
Both artists depend very much upon the "frame" around the art, too, and although it feels chaotic, there's a
beautiful sense of unity and balance as well (imagine taking the painting and turning it on it's side, upside down,
etc. and seeing how it is balanced from any angle):
The Mellow Pad
In this later painting, too, you can see the foundation laid with echoes and premonitions of Jackson Pollack's work
which was about to explode upon the art scene.
It's interesting to look at other influences - I'm also reminded of Mark Rothko
as well the more I look at Eno's 77 Million Paintings
yet again, and view the video.
What Eno manages with light and electronics
Rothko was aiming for with just oil paint in a limited world. His paintings have a shimmering, almost pulsating effect:
Red, Orange, Orange on Red
His aim was to get the viewer into another frame of mind that
would allow the viewer a way to see the painting with spiritual eyes.
He was asking the viewer to disregard, for instance, critical response
in favor of a highly individualized experience.
Oh how I wish he could see what Eno is doing! I think what I respond to the most
is his wish to change the viewer's relationship to a work of art - he allows the viewer control, for instance, over how
fast the images morph, and has individualized the viewer's experience
to the point where no viewer is going to see exactly the same
images as anyone else because the moment will be unique.
He's managed to create a true electronic kaleidescope, hasn't he?