Review

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This Exquisite Forest
Added 09/07/2013
Official_review 1060f6e Created by Anthony Jones
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rating 9.5
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Art & Design

Introduction:

This Exquisite Forest is an online collaborative art project that lets users create short animations that build and branch off one another as they explore a specific theme.

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Idea

Rating 10

This Exquisite Forest is an amazing collaborative, social media inspired, art project from Tate Modern and Google. Conceived by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin the idea is that a series of short animation sequences created by various artists as the starting points, are added to by users of the website. As more and more sequences are added to the forest, the videos on offer dynamically branch out and evolve, much in the way trees do in nature. Each branch is ultimately creating a new visual narrative.

There was also a physical installation of the site that ran for a few months from Tate Modern itself, that allowed visitors to interact with the project on larger scale.

Functionality:

Rating 10

I can't even begin to imagine the level of expertise that's gone into creating This Exquisite Forest, so I'm not even going to pretend that i understand whats going on in the background. What i have learnt is that it extensively uses Google Chrome’s HTML5 and JavaScript support, along with Google App Engine and Google Cloud Storage, in order to help create the magical user experience on offer.

It's a bit of a shame that the site is limited to specific browsers but then considering how complex it must have been to create, that's an element I'm more than happy to overlook. Under those restraints, the streaming is smooth and quick.

Ultimately you need to get onto the site, download Google Chrome (if you don't already have it) and simply click away at the trees to reveal and view the wonderful and whacky shorts that have been created through this original process of co-creation.

Layout:

Rating 10

When I first learnt about This Exquisite Forest, I was eager to get online and check it out for myself. As soon as the first page had loaded, i found myself wowed by the beautiful forest illustration before my eyes. It's not very often I get that blown away by the aesthetics of a website but what we have on offer here is genuinely stunning.

One of the best treats that lies in store for you is when you click on the 'Endless Theatre' tab in the main navigation. It automatically starts playing the most popular 'branches' from the forest, giving one the opportunity to ogle over some of the amazing animations that have been created by the artists and users.

Summary:

Rating 10

This Exquisite Forest really is an ore inspiring and inspirational project. I've never come across anything quite like it. In the sea of very dull and corporate websites out there, it's sobering knowing that there's people thinking outside the box and coming up with groundbreaking projects that really stretch the imagination regarding what's achievable when art, technology and great ideas fuse.

It's hard to know how long This Exquisite Forest will be around or indeed how big it will grow. I sincerely hope it lasts for many years and can be inspiration to the many people out there seeking alternative ways of exploiting the worlds super highway and its many possibilities. As the technology gets more sophisticated, so will the avenues in which developers can explore and create. Then, it will just be a case of seeing how far the imagination can stretch.

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