• Marcel Duchamp’s Boîte-en-valise being swallowed by Scott Snibbe’s Biophilia

    Date posted: December 1, 2015 Author: jolanta
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    October 29, 2015 – Copenhagen, Denmark

    Synesthesia EXP launches le déserteur, the first native exhibition on iPad

    le déserteur is the first native exhibition on iPad. The iOS app is available on the App Store from October 29, 2015. Its mission is to provide the experience of being at an art and literature exhibition on an iPad.

    le déserteur -the deserter- will keep its promise. It will be available 365 days on the App Store before deserting. The app le déserteur is a ticket for a unique, immersive and sensory experience. It will transform the iPad into an ephemeral work of art itself.

    One exhibition, 2 rooms, 24 works of art

    The app consists of two consecutive and imbricated exhibition rooms “Anonymous bodies” and “Labyrinths”. le déserteur questions the role of the anonymous bodies in the cathartic act of desertion leading to the endless and protean quest for identity amid the labyrinth of life.

    In each room: 12 works of art.

    In each work of art: a short film + a piece of literature + a photograph.

    In addition, and throughout the exhibition, an original sound installation designed by the New York-based artist Cocoon Effect offers the musical interpretation of the works of art.

    le déserteur displays a unique curation of 28 artists from around the world, among which are:

    • NADERI: a Copenhagen-based art collective FUKK affiliated film-maker
    • Edouard Mortec: a photographer whose work was exhibited in venues such as the Miami Art Basel Satellite Fair, The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center, Plateforme Gallery in Paris
    • Marion Clement: a writer and blogger covering the daily turpitudes of a woman in Paris
    • Benjamin Paulin: writer and singer, previous rapper, now taking an active part in the global recognition of the artwork of the French designer Pierre Paulin.

    Design based on the myth of Arachne

    The immersive and sensory experience provided by le déserteur is rooted in its simple yet neoclassicism-influenced design. Bruno La Versa, Italian graphic UX and UI designer based his work on the Greek myth of Arachne.

    ”Desertion is often understood in a negative sense, but I like to think of it as an extreme opposition to war, to something higher, wicked. It reminds me of the boldness of Arachne, who was not only gifted with high artistic skills, but challenged Athena, fought her way upstream, confident of her ability. That’s why le déserteur is a dynamic identity in flux, a geometric identity and perfect just like the wires of Arachne” Bruno explains.

    Emotions influence the exhibition rooms

    The founder Sylvain Souklaye collaborated with the scenographer Samuel Petit, the psychiatrist Nunzio d’Annibale and the digital strategist Erika Antoine to devise the app le déserteur as an art installation fuelled by desire and responsive to emotions. They built a digital experience which lies in the journey, not the destination.


    Concretely, the UX immerses the user in a personal journey thanks to:

    • 2 exhibitions rooms which need to be unlocked one by one
    • each round exhibition room leads to 12 works of art which need to be unlocked one by one
    • a musical immersion (player that can be stopped at any time)
    • night/day reading modes


    The UI allows the user to play with his/her emotions to interact with the app and impact the exhibition by changing:

    • the background colour of the exhibitions rooms
    • the central logo (144 possible combinations of Arachne’s wires)

    Who is it for?

    le déserteur targets art and literature lovers… with iPads globally. People with high interest in art and culture but little time! No need to queue up in front of museums for hours to get a shot of culture and discover new artists. It’s available at anytime, anywhere (though we recommend comfortably sitting in a sofa with headphones on).

    le déserteur targets iPad owners… with appeal and curiosity for new immersive experiences.

    Technicalities, pricing and availability

    About Synesthesia EXP

    Why this name?

    Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. People who report such experiences are known as synesthetes. EXP is for the different digital artistic experiences we ambition to bring to life.

    What is Synesthesia EXP about?

    Synesthesia EXP is a startup based in Copenhagen, Denmark and founded by Sylvain Souklaye, French writer, blogger, creative mind and former journalist. The aim of Synesthesia EXP is to create unique and immersive ways to experience art, literature and social science by crafting digital and physical exhibitions and literature experiences. Its first product is le déserteur app.

    On the creation of le déserteur

    Sylvain shares: “After years of collaboration with journalists and thinkers, I wanted to investigate further the link between emotion and reflexion by developing an art form based on desire. le déserteur was born, it would become an ecosystem where art and desire become one. My quest for desire and the origins of le déserteur are actually rooted further back when I watched for the first time Ghost In The Shell by Mamoru Oshii. While the film wondered in 1995 ‘Can a machine have a soul?’ le déserteur echoes back twenty years later ‘Can an iPad be a work of art with feelings?’”.

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