Explore ‘This Exquisite Forest’ with Google and Tate


This Exquisite Forest, an online collaborative art project conceived by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin and presented by Tate and Google, launched today at www.exquisiteforest.com. The project, which enables people to create short animations that grow from each other’s contributions, can be accessed via the website and through a physical installation at Tate Modern in London, opening on 23 July.

To launch the project, seven artists from Tate’s collection have created a series of short animation sequences using a web-based drawing tool developed by Google. These contributors are Miroslaw Balka, Olafur Eliasson, Dryden Goodwin, Raqib Shaw, Julian Opie, Mark Titchner, and Bill Woodrow. Users of the website and visitors to the gallery are invited to draw and animate new sequences, continuing the ‘seeds’ started by these renowned artists. As more and more sequences are added, they become dynamically growing videos, branching and dividing in different directions to create an infinite number of possible endings. Over time, users can begin new ‘seeds’ and further expand the forest of animations.

Designed to bring together artists, gallery visitors and a wider online creative community, Tate worked with Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin and Google’s Creative Lab to realise this unique project. This Exquisite Forest’s Tree Gallery, Tree Browser, and Drawing Tool were built using HTML5 and JavaScript, and work best in Google’s Chrome browser. The project was built using a number of Google technologies, including App Engine and Google Cloud Storage.

The physical installation, with large-scale projections and digital drawing stations through which visitors can take part (using Wacom Cintiq tablets), will be free to visit on Level 3 of Tate Modern until the end of the year. This Exquisite Forest continues the series of successful online ventures on which Tate and Google have worked together, including the Google Art Project and, through YouTube, the live-streamed performances of BMW Tate Live. For this new collaboration, Tate have also invited Film4.0’s roster of talented animators to be among the first to contribute new sequences to the site.

The project takes inspiration from the Surrealist idea of theexquisitecorpse, a creative exercise in which one person begins a drawing or starts a sentence, then passes it on to a series of other people to continue. This Exquisite Forest explores what happens when the technique is reinvented as a new form of collaborative drawing for a global online community.

Jane Burton, Head of Content and Creative Director, Tate Media, said:

“Now more than ever, new web technologies allow the museum to be a place where ideas, experiences and opinions about art and culture are exchanged.  With this project we aim to bring art to an ever wider global audience and to inspire people to respond creatively.  We’re delighted to be continuing our pioneering work with Google in bringing together artists, Tate audiences, and an online community.”

Aaron Koblin, Google Creative Lab, said:

“This project is an experiment in collaborative creativity. It’s about allowing people to connect and express themselves in new ways. It’s also about experimenting with modern web technologies and taking advantage of the newest features in Chrome. Tate has been a wonderful partner and we can’t wait to see the forest grow as people create and contribute.”

Keen to support such an innovative exploration of collaborative creativity, Film4.0 has drawn on its rich pool of creative talent for This Exquisite Forest, inviting a number of filmmakers to produce animations that will further develop the Tate artist trees, and to create and build Film4.0’s own tree. Domestic Infelicity, Tomek Ducki, Julia Pott, Richard Kenworthy from Shynola, Kibwe Tavares, Chris Shepherd, Karni & Saul, Joe Tucker and Peque Varela are amongst the filmmakers confirmed to contribute alongside the Tate artists.

To see a video about the making of This Exquisite Forest, please visit www.exquisiteforest.com/about/technology.


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