Over the past several years, we’ve seen experimental artists adapt gracefully (or cash in, if you’re cynical) to the user-generated world we live in now. While the predictably unpredictable Flaming Lips have been at the interactive media game for a while in their own weird way, we’ve also seen Bjork branch out into multimedia with the Biophilia iPhone/iPad app to accompany the album of the same name, and last week we covered Philip Glass’s foray into the app market with his Glass Machine remixing app.
Not ever to be outdone, producer/composer/multimedia genius Brian Eno released his own app last year, Scape, which allows users to generate their own ambient compositions on their i‑devices. Scape’s release came just before that of Eno’s latest ambient album, Lux, a collection of soundscapes that were initially installed in art galleries and airport terminals. On the album’s release date this past November, Eno had more in store for fans. He streamed the entire album online at four different times during the same day: sunrise, daylight, sunset, and night.
Listeners were invited to upload photos of each time of day, under the general theme of “play of light” (a title Eno considered for the album). Eno and his team then curated their favorite images, from all over the globe, and edited them together into the short film above, entitled “Day of Light.” The idea, he says, was to “make a collaborative, generative work… to see what happened if you just made a space for it to happen in.” Judge the results for yourself. Does this product from the minds and eyes of the Eno collective add up to more than the sum of its parts?
Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Washington, DC. Follow him @jdmagness