Step into a luminous forest growing from floor to ceiling and navigate your way through twisting organic strands and interactive paths where bubbles of light slosh and flow, in this large-scale interactive light sculpture that encourages play, curiosity, and collaboration.

Forest is a creative collaboration between internationally acclaimed visual and new media artist Micah Elizabeth Scott and the New Media program at Ryerson University’s RTA School of Media. This work is commissioned by TIFF for the 2015 digiPlaySpace.

While San Francisco-based Scott provided artistic concept and technical leadership, a group of Ryerson New Media students, led by Steve Daniels and David Bouchard, collaborated with Scott to design and fabricate this sophisticated, interactive digital artwork in Toronto.

Project Leads: Steve Daniels, David Bouchard
Production Manager: Ashley Lewis
Project Assistants: Sabreea Ahmed, Madeleine Amestoy, Meera Balendran, Alexander Basso, Zachary Botvinnik, Erin Brooker, Melissa Chan , Lindsay Cooper, Erica Cristobal, Ngawang Datok, Joelle Dell’Erede, Chelsea Dodd, Alejandro Flores, Amanda Huang, Tiffani Hui, Hilary Julien, Natali Lasky, Kadrah Mensah, Karina Nicole, Victoria Pietsch, Tess Sutherland, Justice Walz, Julia Wice, Mackenzie Willis, Charmaine Yu, McAlister Zeller-Newman

About Forest:
“I love the complex and chaotic patterns we see in nature as a result of subtle interactions between simple rules. As a tree grows, its eventual shape is a concession between competing interests as acted out through chemical and mechanical systems striving for equilibrium. In computers, we have an opportunity to create new worlds with new rules, to see what kind of trees would grow there.
Forest is a physical art installation built according to plans grown in a digital simulation. Hundreds of possible light paths flow upward like capillaries, pushing and pulling each other in perpetual compromise. These paths solidify into both a physical and digital structure for bubbles of light to rise through. As these lights reach circular pools, visitors can reach out and give the light a push or a spin.
I wanted to pair the ethereal medium of digital light with wooden parts that visitors physically move. By turning a spinner, flows can be redirected, captured, or propelled. The light moving between and through each circle acts like a fluid, with lively interactive kinematics: sloshing, bubbling, surging.”
—Micah Elizabeth Scott