Join us for this discussion with net art pioneers and game developers Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn (Tale of Tales), moderated by University of Chicago English and Cinema and Media Studies professor and Weston Game Lab Director Patrick Jagoda. Audiences are invited to join the artists in the free online multiplayer game The Endless Forest for a portion of this special event.
Presented in partnership with the University of Chicago’s Weston Game Lab and Hack Arts Lab.
If you'd like to play in The Endless Forest during the event, please download the game in advance. Instructions below.
Since 1999, pioneering digital artists Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn have created a body of enormously influential games and internet art. Best known for works like The Endless Forest (2005/2020), The Path (2009), The Graveyard (2008), Luxuria Superbia (2013), and Sunset (2015), among others, Harvey and Samyn’s sensuous, multi-layered games, all produced under the name Tale of Tales, explore complex themes of agency, trauma, and connection, often through the avatars of women, girls, and people of color. The two began their joint career producing vanguard internet and networked art as Entropy8Zuper! In recent years, they have turned to mixed reality and immersive software under the moniker Song of Songs. With their immersive and responsive environments, Harvey and Samyn aim to produce emotionally rich experiences unique to the digital realm.
Harvey and Samyn have released eight video game titles, all available to the public through major game portals. In addition to being experienced by thousands on home computers around the globe, their digital art works have been included in significant international festivals and exhibitions such as the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow; Tinguely Museum, Basel; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Museum of the Moving Image, New York; Brooklyn Academy of Music; Museo Tamayo, Mexico City; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Furtherfield, London; NEoN Digital Art Festival, Dundee; International Film Festival Rotterdam; Argos Festival, Brussels; and numerous editions of IndieCade; among many others. They have received numerous awards for their work, including a Nuovo award from the Independent Game Festival for Luxuria Superbia; design and sound awards from hoPLAY International Video Game Festival for The Path; and a Webby for their early site Entropy8Zuper!.org, among others. In addition to her collaborative partnership with Samyn, Harvey is professor of Games as Artistic Practice at Kunsthochschule Kassel.
The Endless Forest
Auriea Harvey and Michael Samyn, 2005-ongoing
Auriea Harvey and Michaël Samyn’s first finished game, The Endless Forest (2005-ongoing) is an online multiplayer game where players interact as human-deer hybrids in an enchanted forest. Stunning in its visuals and radical in its design, the game eschews formal gameplay, story, and language; instead emphasizing curiosity, exploration, and creative sociability. It originated as a screensaver––when a player’s computer goes to sleep, it logs into the Forest, appearing in the game world as a sleeping deer. In the years since its 2005 release, The Endless Forest has amassed an enormous following and become an influential touchstone for game developers, including, most notably, for Jenova Chen and Thatgamecompany’s Journey (2015). Harvey and Samyn are relaunching The Endless Forest, rebuilt with contemporary technology, in 2021.
- 2 Ghz processor (2.5 Ghz or equivalent recommended)
- 128 MB videocard (Radeon 9800, Geforce 4 or better recommended, no integrated graphics)
- 200 MB of free hard disk space after installation
- 256 MB RAM (512 or more recommended)
- Windows 2000 or XP (not available for Mac OSx)
- DirectX 9.0c
- Fast internet connection
- Go to website: http://tale-of-tales.com/TheEndlessForest/
- Download game file
- Open .exe and go through the installer
- Open game and play!
- Click the red dot in the lower left hand corner to enter the settings menu. Navigate to “Networking” to ensure you are connected to the internet.
- Go to the “Display” submenu and make sure “Run in window” is selected (there is a known issue with the game crashing in fullscreen mode when users try to multitask).
- Adjust any other settings you’d like (controls, sounds).
- Go to http://tale-of-tales.com/TheEndlessForest/register/index.html to register your deer.
- Sign in using your new username and password in the “Networking” submenu of The Endless Forest’s settings menu.
- Play! You may want to locate the temple ruins in advance of the event if you’d like to play along during the presentation.
Tale of Tales Livestreams
University of Chicago’s Weston Game Labs on Twitch
Monday, October 5, 5:00–7:00 pm CT
The Path (2009), hosted by Arianna Gass (PhD Candidate, English and Theater & Performance Studies, University of Chicago).
Monday, October 12, 5:00–7:00 pm CT
Bientôt l'été (2012), hosted by Arianna Gass (PhD Candidate, English and Theater & Performance Studies, University of Chicago) and Jas Brooks (PhD Student, Computer Science, University of Chicago).
Monday, October 19, 5:00–7:00 pm CT
Luxuria Superbia (2013) and The Graveyard (2008), hosted by Ashlyn Sparrow (Assistant Director, Weston Game Lab, University of Chicago) and Kent Lambert (Assistant Director, Hack Arts Lab, University of Chicago).
Monday, October 26, 5:00–7:00 pm CT
Sunset (2015), hosted by Arianna Gass (PhD Candidate, English and Theater & Performance Studies, University of Chicago) and Ashlyn Sparrow (Assistant Director, Weston Game Lab, University of Chicago).