Sunday, June 02, 2013

Penny Thoughts ‘13—Light and Time: The Visual Art of Brian Eno (2013) ***½

NR, 7 min.
Director: Scott Thrift
Featuring: Brian Eno

To coincide with Brian Eno’s latest project, a visual art exhibit titled “77 Million Paintings”, which was on display in New York City for the past month, Red Bull Music has produced a short documentary about the famed music producer’s obsession with light and time. The film is a new look inside the mind of a man who has shaped many of today’s musicians that deals with the way he sees visual art, which is not a far cry from how he seems to hear aural art.

At 7 minutes in length, the film is hardly long enough to give an accurate sense of the man’s art, but it gives a surprisingly good try. We see a kaleidoscope of some of the actual work in Eno’s exhibit, which is not unlike a kaleidoscope itself. Instead of the rushed approach to spinning the colored lights that most of us created with kaleidoscopes as children, however, Eno’s light images move at an incredibly slow pace, so slow you might not even notice the changes in the images as they take place.

The narration of the film consists of Eno himself describing his inspiration and process. It’s an invaluable tool for interpreting his art, which is in many ways like nothing I’ve seen before. Eno appears on screen in what might’ve been a boring talking head style monologue were it not for the visual inventiveness of director Scott Thrift, who uses much of Eno’s own artistic style and words to create a visual manipulation of the light of the image to exemplify the themes upon which Eno is working. Film itself is a manipulation of light, and so carries Eno’s ideas with a greater resonance than any sort of lecture on his work would. It also allows Thrift to convey the power that Eno has discovered in light without having to show us an entire piece of Eno’s collection, which according to Eno could run ad infinitum.

Visit the Lumen London website to learn more about Eno's project.

Watch the entire short documentary below. 

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