Brian Eno - music inventor, record producer and acclaimed visual artist - was fortunate enough to be invited to Sydney, to curate a project called Luminous. Luminous was a part of Vivid Sydney, a unique public festival that “will transform the city into a spectacular living canvas of music and light in and around Sydney Opera House, The Rocks, Circular Quay and City Centre.” 
The beauty of the festival lies not only in the array of different artworks and performances shown during the course of Luminous, but also, according to Eno, in the common denominator of the combined artists: the inability to place them in any obvious category. He stated that “[t]hey are people who work in the new territories, the places in between, the places out at the edges. […] Some of them take old forms and infuse them with new life, and make them new again, and others have invented forms of art that didn’t previously exist.”  Thus, Luminous created an outlet for the more ambiguous and less easily placed artworks.
Crowning piece of this Luminous festival was Eno’s work 77 Million Paintings, projected onto the white sails of the Sydney Opera House.
Through the use of self-generating software, three hundred hand-drawn images done by Eco are randomly cut-up, the pieces rearranged and realigned in a infinite amount of varied ways. The randomness of this rearrangement creates a one of a kind, constantly evolving artwork. Accompanying the light show is a specially made soundtrack, interwoven with the projected images, all set to create a “mesmerizing soundscape”. 
With 77 Million Paintings, Eno stated he wanted the people watching his work to “surrender to another kind of world,”  to embrace their own imagination through this surrender. He said that “[b]y allowing ourselves to let go of the world that we have to be part of every day, and to surrender to another kind of world, we’re allowing imaginative processes to take place.”  Art, according to Eco, triggers the imaginative process, and through imagination alone can we cope with the gruesome encounters of everyday life. Imagination enables mankind to survive, even during the hardest of times – such as the economic crisis we have been facing the last year or so. 
77 Million Paintings is said to be a “very meditative experience” , by chief executive Richard Evans. Using the Sydney Opera House as the backdrop for this work of art was not a simple choice either. Evans: “[w]e are not colouring in the opera house, we’re actually kind of taking the art of the opera house and raising it to a different level.”  In other words: the iconic white sails of the opera house are not just used as a large projection piece, 77 Million Paintings and the opera house itself cooperate extrinsically in order to create a whole new level of artistic experience.
77 Million Paintings is somewhat similar to Gyorgy Kepes’ Light Mural for KLM, made in 1959). Light Mural for KLM was programmed by Kepes as “an immense kinetic mural, in which stencilled shapes in light emulate […] the poetry of a cityscape as seen from an airplane at night. Superimposed over the thousands of tiny points of light are coloured arabesques illuminated at different tempos.”  Though Kepes did not have the technology at hand to create a flowing and randomly computer-generated work such as Eno’s, his mural can be seen as a predecessor to Eno’s piece. Both are displayed on large scale public building, using lights and changing light patterns at varying speed intervals to create a mesmerizing illuminated artwork, to be enjoyed by everyone. No doubt, for its time, Light Mural for KLM could also be viewed as a slight meditative experience, not unlike 77 Million Paintings. There is a undeniably hypnotic experience to watching a large scale light play, be it projected and created through techniques of the Nought-ies, like the work of Akira Hasegawa, or using lighting techniques from the Fifties.
Brian Eno, and his 77 Million Paintings are also a modern embodiment of László Maholy-Nagy’s beliefs concerning artificial light and artworks. Maholy-Nagy, who was an important influence on Kepes, stated that:
“Ever since the introduction of the means of producing high-powered , intense artificial light, it has been one of the elemental factors in art creation, though it has not yet been elevated to its legitimate place. The night life of a big city can no longer be imagined without the varied play of electric advertisements, or night air traffic without lighted beacons along the way. The reflectors and neon tubes of advertising signs, the blinking letters of store fronts, the rotating coloured electric bulbs, the broad strip of the electric new bulletin are elements of a new field of expression, which will probably not have to wait much longer for its creative artists.” 
Light play has become a new field of expression, and creative artists like Eno are now more than capable of ‘elevating’ their art creations to their ‘legitimate’ place.
  Luminous Festival Media Release, March 19, 2009. Retrieved from http://luminous.sydneyoperahouse.com/media.htm
 77 Million Paintings, found under ‘Installations’ at official Luminous website. Retrieved from http://luminous.sydneyoperahouse.com/light_installation.htm
     Mail Foreign Service. ‘Sydney Opera House's white sails turn into giant canvas for spectacular light display’. Daily Mail Online. 26 May 2009. Retrieved from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/article-1188229/Sydney-Opera-Houses-white-sails-turn-giant-canvas-spectacular-light-display.html#ixzz0j7Qx2PsQ
 Kepes, Gyorgy. Light Mural for KLM. (1959) As found in Shanken, Edward. Art and Electronic Media. London: Phaidon, 2009: pp58
 Maholy-Nagy, László. The New Vision. (1928) As found in Shanken, Edward. Art and Electronic Media. London: Phaidon, 2009: pp 194