Before we forgot

Before we forgot
Leon Butler
The work is a durational interactive exploration of changing landscapes

Leon Butler
Galway, Ireland
Field of work
Design, Visual Art, Multimedia, Film
Project category
Rural spaces
Project submitted

I am an artist and designer working at the intersection of art and technology. My work explores the tension between the creator, the audience and the machine and has been recognised by The Type Directors Club, 100 Archive, the Future Makers awards, Digital Media awards, Young Directors Awards and the Irish Design Awards. Recent shows include Performance Surveillance (WRO Biennale — Wrocław, Poland; Interfacing Life — NeMe, Cyprus; RIXc — Riga, Latvia) Emperor 101 (SxSW — Austin, TX, Dublin Theatre Festival — Dublin Ireland; Boca Del Lopo — Vancouver, BC), Shelter and Place (Carlow Arts Festival, Cork Midsummer — Ireland), Desired (Los Angeles — CA).

Before we forgot is an interactive experience made to remind you of all that lies before you in the luscious landscapes that exist on the edge of Europe and immediate pleasure of discovery it. It is an astonishing interactive experience, a restless panorama, a generative animation, video mapping, music and dreaming mixing traditional Irish folk stories and modern technology to opening the landscapes of the mind to the world. A walk through the wonderful imagined countryside — funny, familiar, remembered, forgotten. It is a restless panorama, a disappearing path, a game and a feeling. Before we forgot is full of small experiences that gets bigger as you uncover it. The trees will change their shake, and the path will widen and close as you travel along, and you will follow as you want to move. This journey will take place a million times and every time will be different. A journey is a collection of moments and those moments you collect. Your journey is a set of choices — turn here, stop here and we surrender these choices. This world enclosed in a virtual environment is an adventure. A landscape of leaves, flora and fauna, teeming with hidden life. A garden and wilderness, a wistful blink of a dream. Using machine learning and ai to create a generative animation from aerial footage mixed with projection mapping technology and projected display, Before we forgot imagines a dream-world where you walk, run, fly, lie in the grass and discover what's hidden all around. Are you awake, how far into the distance will you go. Can you feel the ghosts of those who've been here before you? Set out and follow the wren through the woods and fields, by sunlight and dusk with changing colours. Allow yourself to dream and you will seek out what you find.