Most of us are familiar with the term “exquisite corpse,” a technique used by the surrealists in which an image is drawn collaboratively, centered around a theme or subject, with each successive artist not knowing what the previous one has created, instead just adding to it in sequence.
Now, take that idea and translate it to animation, where the animations can be made by anyone and are placed online on continually growing trees. That’s the idea behind the new project from Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk, This Exquisite Forest. Like their previous efforts, the project is set in Google Chrome and uses HTML5.
For this project, presented by Google and the Tate, people get to see the animations from this project. They can then expand upon a story (represented as a tree) that a featured artist has already started, like Olafur Eliasson and Julian Opie, following their instructions (or not) to continue a branch of the story. Or, you can start your own story from scratch. Either way you collaboratively create short animations that build upon the previous animations.
The project is presented as both a curated installation at the Tate Modern (from July 23rd) and as a online platform. There’s a making of video below.