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Digital Forest, April 2019 (camera photograph of Unity software glitching)

The collapse of my digital forest created a commentary on our current deforestation crisis and reminded me of my research into decaying programming languages like Entropy. 

FOREST VIRUS

March to October 2019

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Digital Forest, March 2019, (screenshot of work in progress on Unity)

While studying at Concordia in Montréal, Canada, I began making a digital forest in Unity which viewers could walk through using a virtual reality headset. 

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Digital Forest, March 2019, (screenshot of work in progress on Unity)

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Digital Forest, April 2019 (camera photograph of virtual forest in Unity)

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Digital Forest, April 2019 (camera photograph of virtual forest in Unity)

The project file was corrupted and glitches appeared whenever I ran the forest

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Digital Forest, April 2019 (camera photograph of Unity software glitching)

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Digital Forest, April 2019 (camera photograph of Unity software glitching)

Trees warn each other of danger by sending electrical signals across a fungal network which biologists are calling the the “Wood Wide Web".

FOREST VIRUS DOCUMENTARY

I merged my glitching forest video with quotes from an article about the forest's communication system. The article continually compared the tree's network to the internet, even saying that they have their "own version of cyber crime". 

September 2019

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Forest Virus, September 2019 (screenshot of video)

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Forest Virus, September 2019 (screenshot of video)

FOREST VIRUS VIDEO

September 2019

Forest Virus displayed at Kingston School of Art, September 2019

For an exhibition at Kingston School of Art, I separated my film into two videos onto two TVs. The subtitles alternated between each TV and sometimes overlapped or had pauses to imitate a conversation. I displayed my TVs in front of the window to provide a visual contrast between the real trees outside and my virtual trees. 

Viewers said my video looked like a post-apocalyptic documentary simulating what trees looked like, which was enhanced by the old, nostalgic JVC TVs.

DIGITAL WITCHCRAFT

I also included  folklore into the documentary, discussing the spiritual and magical properties of trees. I was inspired by the recent digital resurgence of witchcraft and the rise of Instagram and YouTube 'witches'.  My broken virtual forest is an inaccessible hidden place in the same way that the spiritual realm is inaccessible and hidden.

"My broken virtual forest is a digital spirit realm"

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Screenshots of Forest Virus Documentary, September 2019