As the innovation arm of Film4, Film4.0 is all about seeking out new talent and alternative partnerships to explore new ways of storytelling and enabling filmmakers to connect with their audiences in meaningful ways. The Scene Stealers competition is a good example of this and is already building a brilliant momentum – we’re seeing some great work from right around the world in the submissions so far.
As part of our ambition to innovate at the edge, I’m very excited to announce today that Film4.0 is supporting This Exquisite Forest, an online collaborative art project conceived by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin and presented by Tate and Google. The project, launched today at www.exquisiteforest.com, enables people to create short animations that grow from each other’s contributions, and 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’s Jane Burton worked with Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin and Google’s Creative Lab to realise this unique project.
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.
Because Film4.0 is about innovation right across the spectrum, from big cinematic features right the way through to more experimental collaborations such as this, it felt like something we should be supporting.
So to contribute to this exploration of collaborative storytelling, 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, Joe Tucker, Chris Shepherd and Peque Varela are amongst the filmmakers confirmed to contribute alongside the Tate artists, and they will also collaborate with each other in the Film4 tree.
You can see a video about the making of This Exquisite Forest here. 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.