Skip to main content
Ages 13+
Under 13
Brian Eno Video

Brian Eno’s Amazing Video-Paintings


A brief review of the moments in which Eno showed the world his past as a painter and he mixed it with his environments.

It is not hard to imagine paintings (specifically watercolours) while we listen to musical notes played by Brian Eno, a true magician of sonic landscapes if there ever was one. This is partly related to the brilliant English musician who actually studied art in an English university before becoming what he is today; and also with many of the members of Roxy Music, the band in which Eno developed his craft and made himself known world-wide at the beginning of the Seventies; the people who share this past with him.

In 2006 Brain Eno launched a DVD entitled 77 Million Paintings, which consisted of software which combined music and images in random patterns in order to resemble or imitate the screen of one of his famous video-installations. The name is based on the number of possible combinations of music and video; what is more important, beyond 77 million paintings the video contained is that the software contained 296 original pieces which were juxtaposed and mixed to create different landscapes; 296 pieces which are additionally extremely moving.

Before this particular project, an example of Eno “technologizing” painting can be seen in the Thursday Afternoon series which explored the female form, and was launched in the Eighties. The video is a type of poltergeist of female beauty that leads the viewer to absolute tranquillity, taken by the hand by beautiful digital mannequins. Also from the Eighties, is Mistaken Memories of Medieval Manhattan in which, as the title says, a series of fragments from a thematic imagination (medieval Manhattan), where time seems to follow a different flow, one characterised by slowness of course, and one that is more hypnotised.

His video-paintings were pioneers in the hypnosis of performance art. Aside from showing the world a special way to “draw” music, at the time of their release, they animated awe-striking installations that included television apparatuses and live-projections. Eno re-contextualised visual art by transforming it into a parameter that also comprises music and technology. Each one of his pieces requires the smallest amount of time to be able to transport us to completely enjoyable landscapes.

Related Articles