Digitalised Heritage

“We exist as a part of a process of eternal continuity of life and death, a process which has been continuing for an overwhelmingly long time. It is hard for us, however, to sense this in our everyday life. It was when we were wandering through the woods that we realized the shapes of those giant rocks, caves and forests, that have been formed over an infinite amount of time, are the continuous cycle of life itself. By applying digital art to this unique environment, the exhibition celebrates a massive chunk of life that nests on such continuity. In Mifuneyama Rakuen, we got lost in the ambiguous border of garden and forest, and finally, we have come to realise we exist on the borderless continuity between nature and humans.” – teamLab.

Japanese collective teamLab brings together practitioners from across the digital arts, working alongside programmers, mathematicians, CGI animators and web designers, with the avowed intention being to achieve a new kind of balance between art, science, technology and creativity. The group refer to themselves as “ultra-technologists.” For their latest project, A Forest Where Gods Live, they aim to execute a project where non-material digital art can turn into nature without harming its surroundings.

Created in 1845, the Mifuneyama Rakuen park is home to a 3,000 year-old Okusu tree, embodying a Takeo shrine and a symbol of cultural spirituality. There is another 300-year-old tree at the hear of the garden, as well as a Mifuenyama mountain and a wild forest led by an ambiguous trail. Colossal in its size, 500,000 square metres, the location represents an age-old respect for organic life, and a pulsing dialogue between humanity and preserved life. Incorporating technological elements into the space, teamLab create a tapestry of organic and digital threads, and a glance to the future of synonymous life.

A Forest Where Gods Live runs until 9 October at Mifuneyama Rakuen Saga, Japan. For more information:

1.  A Forest Where Gods Live. Courtesy of Vimeo and TeamLab.