‘The Exquisite Forest’ & ‘I Create, You Destroy’ : Experiencing games in exhibition formats.

I Create, You Destroy

‘This is an installation of six iPads where software powered by Gamika technologies creates, plays, critiques, selects, and shares abstract artistic games. It happily makes games all day long, unless a visitor touches one of the screens, in which case the game being made is destroyed forever. Exposing and challenging long-standing but highly topical issues of machines taking jobs and posing existential threats, I Create, You Destroy, is an Artificial Intelligence system, but it is not the bad guy here.’

(ThoseMetaMakers, http://metamakersinstitute.com/2016/12/05/i-create-you-destroy-thosemetamakers-2016/)

I Create You Destroy, @ThoseMetaMakers, 2016

This installation took place with my last visit to Falmouth University (It actually took place in the Poly, Falmouth). I have found a few similar installations pop up in various locations, exploring different notions and themes of play and game making. The other that I am going to explore a little in this post is ‘The Exquisite Forest’, which I managed to interact with on a visit to the Tate Modern, London, a few years ago.

The reason that I am speaking specifically about these two, is the nature of creation and continuation which is visible in both. The difference between the two is that in one case, as an audience member experiencing these installations, you are considered a threat, whereas the other, you are an artist.

‘The Exquisite Fores’t is a collaborative project by Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin, and produced by the Google Data Arts Team, using the Tate as its exhibition space. Here is a quick video to explain the project.

The project, which at the time was surrounded by the Tate’s surrealist exhibition, allowed creation to stem from an original image/animation, a seed if you will. But what happened after was the unexpected, you can create, you can observe creation, or you could walk through the virtual forest of stories and lights to find one that fits.

Some were as tall as ever, others were just sprouting branches from their short trunks, all were beautiful pieces of art that allowed the true concept of the surrealist game to flourish.

You were allowed to take the image on a completely different journey that was your own and truly becoming an artist of sorts. It felt like a puzzle that you could create as you went along, by simply looking at what the person before you had placed, and changing it completely (if it was your intention) so to fit the puzzle in a new and interesting way.

The project is still active on it’s website, I will provide links to more information on both projects at the end.

Experiencing both of these game like installations really spur me on to explore play and interaction of audiences in new and exciting ways. I am considering speaking with the MetaMakers Institute (situated on the Falmouth Campus) for information and guidance on eventually building my own games.

One particular piece of the article about ‘I Create, You Destroy’ I found beautifully intriguing defines the polar opposites of the projects I have spoken about, but a core concept remains, creation.

‘A continuum moving image is closer to real life because we are assisting to the birth of it, no filters, no curation no past or future just a moment of pure creation by procuration.’ (http://metamakersinstitute.com/2016/12/05/i-create-you-destroy-thosemetamakers-2016/)

‘I Create, You Destroy’ has a truly beautiful concept, so maybe we are not the bad guys, so long as we just observe. We witness a birth, of art, but must not touch it for fear of breaking it. Instead, we can observe, witness and appreciate a machines capability to work and play for our enjoyment, but not intervene. If we do, it is lost forever. We need to learn to be content with creation, but be less inclined to destroy.

Whereas ‘The Exquisite Forest’ again, lets us witness the birth, but also allows formation of new ideas from the creators and witnesses, with a sense of continuation and remembrance (what with the animations being stored in different trees, branches and seeds. The forest grows with interaction and creativity, we are gardeners in the forest and have a duty to create and maintain the growth, through immersing ourselves and playing with ideas past and present.

Both were placed in very fitting environments for all of these ideas to flow and become creations amongst the art. It was fitting that these modern installations, although I’ll call them games for this purpose, are placed in a gallery setting, allowing game making tools accessible to anyone and everyone who values art and is intrigued in the ideas of creation, media and play.

I hope you have enjoyed this little ramble, please follow some of the links below for more info on these projects.

‘The Exquisite Forest’.


I Create, You Destroy.



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