Eno Plays LA? Almost – His AI Assisted Documentary Screens At The Alex

To the best of my knowledge, Brian Eno has appeared in person in LA just a couple of times; at the Roxy Music debut American tour when it hit the Whisky in 1972, and for a lecture he gave at a university around 1990. He doesn’t often play live, so it’s not as if he’s singled us out not to appear here. But on Saturday, the Alex Theatre will present “Eno”, a fairly unique documentary proposition directed by Gary Hustwit. This project has taken all the material in Eno’s extensive archive, hundreds of hours of unseen footage, along with new interviews, and created a situation where a single two hour viewing might be stitched together from any of those components by AI, on the fly, resulting in a completely different presentation every time it is shown.

Leave it to Eno, one of modern music’s great fearless experimenters, to twist the idea of a documentary being some kind of final statement, or attempt to present the subject in a certain light. And at the exact moment that creative types are cursing AI to the sky, he’s using it to do something that sounds genuinely to be of human interest. His expansive career, from the shocking blast that was Roxy to his terrific rock albums as a solo artist, to the creation of “functional music” such as his Ambient series to his production work with other trailblazing artists, seems to resist a single two hour narrative. No matter what was in the two hours, it could never be complete and never be enough. This is a way to acknowledge the futility of the attempt, yet present something anyway, and allow that maybe by the next screening, it will have improved.

Hustwit will appear at the screening to answer questions, and Dublab DJs will spin in the courtyard until the wee hours.

Eno screens at the Alex Theatre on Saturday, May 4 at 8pm. Tickets available here. 


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