Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn, still from The Endless Forest, online multiplayer game, 2005/2020-ongoing.
bitforms gallery x Small Data Industries presents:
The Endless Forest, Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn
Streaming online June 23–July 7, 2020
bitforms gallery is proud to present The Endless Forest by Auriea Harvey & Michaël Samyn as the second work in a series of streaming generative artworks, presented in collaboration with Small Data Industries. The Endless Forest is an online multiplayer game where players interact as deer in a magical forest. There are no specific goals to achieve or rules to follow in the forest—players are encouraged to engage with other deer and explore and find magic in the wilderness. Access to this work has been offered online as a free download since 2005, given that users have a Windows machine and a fast 3D videocard. However, this unique collaboration with Small Data Industries allows viewers to access The Endless Forest in a live format without a Windows machine or downloadable files. In this configuration, the artwork is self-playing—referenced as Deer Observation Mode by the artists—and oscillates between a peacefully sleeping deer to variable glimpses of the lush forest and social interactions with other players (deer). (BITFORMS)
Auriea Harvey is co-founder of Tale of Tales. Net art pioneers, she and Michael Samyn have been creating award winning independent games and digital artworks together for the past twenty years. From multiplayer deer screensaver The Endless Forest to IGF Nuovo prize winning sex game Luxuria Superbia to the extreme politics of Sunset to technicolor horror fairy tale The Path; Auriea has designed, modeled, and experimented with the medium of polygons inside game engines. Her philosophy is to do whatever it takes, whatever she can, to get across a concept. Using digital and analog techniques, drawing from diverse cultural references, she creates works of subtle (and not so subtle) expression. Her emphasis is always on what it means to be human with your finger on the button. She is currently creating paintings, sculptures, and experiments with VR. She teaches in Kassel, Germany, and Milan, Italy.
Michaël Samyn is half of Tale of Tales, an artist couple that has been masquerading as an independent game development studio for 12 years during which they published 8 games - The Endless Forest, The Graveyard, The Path, Fatale, Vanitas, Bientôt l'été, Luxuria Superbia and Sunset -, each of which was met with equal measures of applause and consternation. Michaël sort of hates games. But he loves the medium that videogames use because he sees in it the possibility to continue the great tradition of art and culture that was rudely interrupted by the modernism of the 20th century. With a background in graphic design, furniture design, music, web design, net.art and videogames, and a passion for Old Master art and Christian architecture, Michaël currently explores the amalgamation of the sacred and the digital in Tale-of-Tales' first post-games project, Cathedral-in-the-Clouds.