This Exquisite Forest is an online collaborative art project, presented by Tate and Google, which enables people to create short animations that grow from each other’s contributions. It can be accessed via a website and through a physical installation at Tate Modern.
Taking as the starting point a series of short animation sequences created by artists represented in Tate’s collection, users of the website and visitors to the installation are invited to draw and animate new sequences and thus continue the ‘seeds’ begun by the artists. As more sequences are added, the videos dynamically branch out and evolve, forming multiple new visual narratives.
The project takes inspiration from the Surrealist idea of the exquisite corpse, 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
The artists taking part are Miroslaw Balka, Olafur Eliasson, Dryden Goodwin, Raqib Shaw, Julian Opie, Mark Titchner, and Bill Woodrow. Tate have also invited Film4.0’s roster of talented animators to be among the first to respond to the artists by contributing new sequences to the site.
Tate worked with Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin and Google’s Creative Lab to realise this unique project. 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.
The physical installation, with large-scale projections and digital drawing stations through which visitors can take part, 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.