by Ryland Walker Knight
My friend Mike introduced me to The Clock of the Long Now. I'm not sure who introduced him to the project but I know he was into it, at least partially, because Brian Eno, something of an unbounded mortal, was on the board of directors. The project has only grown since Stewart Brand's book and next weekend The Long Now Foundation will be presenting the North American debut of 77 million paintings by Brian Eno. "North American debut?" Well, yeah: Eno first threw this digital party in Venice, which is where those pretty pictures down below comes from (stolen from Wired's blog). Wired's blog has a notice up about the event, which runs Friday June 29th and Saturday June 30th from 8pm to 2am (both nights) at the Yerba Buena Center. If you like time, space, stained glass, arrays of Macintosh computers, big clocks, slow computers, Nevada, Danny Hillis, nerd shit, bell tones, Roxy Music or Brian Eno -- you may have a fun time starting stupefied and bewildered up at these evolving marvels. If you can't make it, you can buy a DVD approximation of the installation Eno has programmed to run on almost any computer. But, chances are, ain't nothing like the real thing, baby. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for students.
UPDATE, Sunday, July 1st, 2007, 8:34pm:
Went last night with Cameron. Was thinking about writing up another post about it but to attempt to fix it into words would be mostly pointless I feel. The idea is one of infinity, even as it is named with a fixed and round number and as it is proudly displayed for a mere 6 hours over a measly 3 days. To watch, or, to experience the project isn't merely to sit or stand and watch the three screens of varying light-objects. It is to inhabit the space. For, as a theatrical event, it exists to multiply worlds. Even the colors on the screen are arranged to make worlds, with multiple spheres and layers, or levels, of images washing into one another. And all the while bell tones play overhead, slowly ebbing across the auditorium. After a while I began to look around at my fellows more than at the screen, which made each sight new, and exciting. I would have loved to spend more time in the installation but my back hurt. And we wanted burritos. We're such silly California wingnuts. Here's a postcard I picked up: