After finishing the computer animation version of "The Forest", Waliczky began to work on the second, interactive variant of "The Forest", in collaboration with Jeffrey Shaw and Sebastian Egner. Here, the animation becomes part of an interactive installation, based on a flight simulator whose cockpit is replased by a simple platform with a seat and a large monitor. Using a joystick mounted in the arm of the seat, the viewer can negotiate his own path through the forest which is shown on the screen in front of him. The flight simulator reacts accordingly, so that changes of speed or direction are experienced as phisical sensations. For this version, Sebastian Egner, who wrote the program and designed the control system for the platform, also designed a new method of constructing the visual image - for technical reasons it was not appropriate to use the previous solution. In the new version of the work, the drawings of the trees are not mounted on transparent cylinders but randomly arranged inside a huge cube, in which the camera is free to move in any direction the viewer chooses. In theory, when the camera reaches the side of the cube, it passes through into a new box of the same type, whith exactly the same trees; in fact, however, it reenters the same cube from the opposite side. Thus this space, too, appears infinite.
The flight simulator version of "The Forest" is significantly different from other flight simulator installations. It does not have a pre-recorded, linear structure to follow, like the techincally similar installations at the different amusement parks. It is also not a computer game: it does not have any goal to reach. (For example an airport to land or an enemy to destroy.) On the contrary: "The Forest" speaks about the purposeless of human actions. To test the flight simulator version of "The Forest" is a meditative experience.
flight simulation plattform application, the interactive version of "DER
Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe
M. Hauffen, Dr. R. Gruber, H. Bruckner, W. Wentzel, V. Kuchelmeister.
instrument" adapted by P. Dutilleux
provided by Silicon Graphics, Karlsruhe
Copyright © 1993 Tamás Waliczky, Sebastian Egner, Jeffrey Shaw
"The Forest" (interactive cd-rom version), 1995
In the cd-rom version of "The Forest" Waliczky uses the structure of the flight simulator, interactive version, with only a few modifications dictated by the technical requirements of the medium. One significant modification is the further reduction in the number of colours, which minimizes the quantity of information involved and thereby makes for a higher projection speed; for Waliczky, the size of the image format and the suppleness of the movements were more important considerations than a wide spectrum of tonal shading. Instead of the nuanced greys in the original version, which create the impression of a photograph, he uses pure white and black, which lends the new animation a markedly graphical feel. The result is an interactive illustration, as it were, of the original animation, but the modifications make it an original art work in its own right.
Animation: Tamas Waliczky
Design: Tamas Waliczky, Anna Szepesi
Interface design: Holger Jost, Volker Kuchelmeister
Cd-rom adaptation of the work: Volker Kuchelmeister
Assisted by: Sylvia Molina Muro
Produced by ZKM, Karlsruhe
Copyright © 1995 Tamas Waliczky
Images copyright © 1993 Tamás Waliczky