This Exquisite Forest – the Next Google Chrome Creative Experiment

After “The Wilderness Downtown” and “Johnny Cash” Projects creative team Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin produced again a real masterpiece uniting Creativity, Technology and Crowdsourcing.

Have you ever play the The Exquisite Corpse game? Created by Paris Surrealists in 20’s of ХХ-th century that is writing game where one person builds on the last person’s sentence, passing the paper around in a circle. This idea is the foundation of the new collaborative video art project from Google Creative Lab in partnership with London’s Tate Modern art gallery called This Exquisite Forest.

It is an online crowdsourcing project that lets users create short animations that build off one another as they explore a specific theme. The result is a collection of branching narratives resembling trees. Each participant builds on what the previous artist did, adding a few frames of animation; a cycle that ultimately results in a multi-branched choose-your-own-video experience.

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This project makes use of several web technologies and Google products.On the server side, App Engine and Cloud Storage provide hosting, user accounts, and storage of thousands of user-generated animations. On the client side, Google Chrome provides fast JavaScript rendering and HTML5 features.

Aaron KoblinThis Exquisite Forest was conceived again by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin – the artists behind the two of the most creative online projects – “The Wilderness Downtown” with a band Arcade Fire and “Johnny Cash” crowdsourced project. For the beginning they invited seven renowned artists from Tate’s collection to start the project. Bill Woodrow, Dryden Goodwin, Julian Opie, Mark Titchner, Miroslaw Balka, Olafur Eliasson and Raqib Shaw have created short “seed” animations.

From these seeds, anyone can add new animations that extend the story or branch it in a new direction. Or you can start a tree of your own with some friends. As more sequences are added, the animations grow into trees, creating a potentially infinite number of possible endings to each animation.

Once you register at the project’s website, you can scrub through the different timelines to see thumbnails, and click on any leaf to watch all the clips leading up to it in sequence. And if you want to try your own hand at animating you can also submit a few frames using the site’s built-in tools. If you’re in the London area and would rather check out the Forest in person, you can drop by the Tate. A physical installation is located in the collection galleries on Level 3 and is open for approximately 6 months beginning from July 23, 2012.