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Google and Tate help create online collaborative art project 'This Exquisite Forest'

Online collaborative art project, This Exquisite Forest, conceived by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin and presented by Tate and Google has been launched with seven artists from Tate’s collection creating a series of short animations. The project which enables people to create animations that grow from each other’s contributions can be accessed via the website and through a physical installation at Tate Modern in London, which will open on 23 July.

The This Exquisite Forest installation at Tate Modern opens 23 July

The seven artists - Miroslaw Balka, Olafur Eliasson, Dryden Goodwin, Raqib Shaw, Julian Opie, Mark Titchner, and Bill Woodrow – created the animations using a web-based drawing tool developed by Google, users of the website and visitors to the gallery are asked to continue the ‘seeds’ started by these artists in their own animations. As more and more sequences are added, they will become more dynamic, branching and dividing in different directions. Over time users will be allowed begin new ‘seeds’ further expanding the forest of animations.

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

Jane Burton, head of content and creative director, Tate Media, commented: “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.”

Taking inspiration from the Surrealist idea of the exquisite corpse, a creative exercise in which one person begins a drawing or starts a sentence, the passes it on to a series of others to continue, This Exquisite Forest explores what happens when the technique is reinvented for the global community. Film 4.0 has also drawn on its pool of creative talent to support This Exquisite Forest by inviting a number of its filmmakers to produce animations to further develop the Tate artist tree.

Aaron Koblin from Google Creative Lab, added: “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.”

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