Long exposure picture of Sirènes Sylvestres' LEDs. Planterwald forest, Berlin, 2013.

Sirènes Sylvestres

A progressive light path through the woods

The night stroller first avoids venturing into the forest. One tends to prefer illuminated paths. But who can know what awaits in the darkness?

A whisper. A glimpse. A sign. Curiosity steers the stroller away from the known.

Disorientation. Eyes struggle to adjust as the scene is assessed. Blades of foliage caress. A fungal fog looms. Nightbirds call. A new path beckons.

Sirènes Sylvestres v.2 in Berlin. Pictures by Mateus Alves, music by Amiina.

Lights and motion sensor modules are dispatched in the woods according to a specific path.

When visitors step into the range of a sensor, the connected light turns on in front of them. As soon as they get close to the light, it turns off and another one a few meters further on, is illuminated. Therefore, visitors are invited to go deeper into the woods, with no option to go backward.

Sketch of the path. The circles represent the lights.

A kid using Histoires Exquises v.1, Morroco 2010.

Histoires Exquises

A participative audio exquisite corpse to record the collective subconsciousness

Histoires Exquises is a tool built to allow everyone to participate in a big common story, by recording themselves for 3 seconds in a microphone. They can listen to the story previously recorded by the other participant, and choose a sequence to record over. The story is constantly evolving from one exhibition to an other. Because it’s oral, it was possible to exhibit it in different countries, with people from very different backgrounds, cultures or languages.

Histoires Exquises in Meknes Morocco, presented in an voting booth.

Originally presented to Morocco, the installation was hidden in a booth. Wink the link between freedom of expression and democracy, this display has also encouraged greater spontaneity. In other events the installation was made ​​without voting booth.

Histoires Exquises v.2 was pesented without booth, and the control device includes a play/pause button.

The oral aspect of the installation makes the participation accessible (illiterate, open to all languages), playful and spontaneous, and each participant is identifiable while remaining anonymous.

Recording from archives, march 2011.

A viewer interacting with the installation, in Amiens, 2012.


Free-trade in a little inhabited world

How does evolve an ecosystem ruled by simple behavioral rules?
Which factors assure the balance between different skilled organisms? Which factors will influence the hegemony and therefore the detriment of others?

Video of the exhibition in Amiens, France.

Ecosystem is a projection of an interactive animation. It is an ecosystem simulation, driven by simple artificial intelligence rules.

Next to the projection, a notepad lists the different organisms and their initial abilities. This notepad has capacitive buttons. It's connected to the animation and is used to influence the ecosystem: the visitor can add organism, or, if he wants to, destroy all forms of life in order to restart a new ecosystem.

You can experience Ecosystem on your browser. Introduce organisms with the numeric keys of your keyboard (1 to 8).

Montage of an interactive waterfall parallel to the shore, opening when someone is passing by (image by Matthias Schmitt).


Interactive waterfall to connect Paris and its suburbs

Paris “intra muros” is one of the most dense city in the world. Its borders use to evolve threw the age, but remain the same since 1860, to be now represented by the “périphérique” motorway. Parisians almost never cross it, and therefore create a very strong psychological border. How to break this psychological border?

View of the bridges over the canal, each one having a different interactive waterfall principle (image by Béatrice Lartigue).

Along the canal de l'Ourq, which flow through Paris and the northern suburb Saint Ouen, Rain-bows transforms each bridges into an interactive waterfall (including the ring motorway bridge).

By a light and playful intervention in the urban landscape, the Rain-bows plays down the importance of the borders by multiplying and magnifying it.

An other interactive waterfall principle (image by Matthias Schmitt).

Rain-bows is the winning project of the European Street Design Challenge 2011, a 3 day workshop where teams of european young designers are working to solve social and urban problematics.

Visual research for the project La Parasite.

Le Parasite

"You are the parasite, enjoy!"

An ecosystem is defined by the network of interactions among organisms, and between organisms and their environment.

Humans are part of an ecosystem, and its environment is the Earth. However, we are overexploiting it more than we are interacting with it, and therefore desertification, global warming, pollution, animal extinctions...

Self perceptions of humanity. Occidental anthropocentrism on the left vs. Native American perception on the right.

How to change self perception of humanity?

The parasite, as any other living thing, aims to reproduce as much as possible, and therefore, exploiting its environment as much as possible. This does not mean that the further exploitation of the host will help to achieve reproductive success of the parasite.
Claude Combes, L’Art d’Être Parasite (loosely translated from french)

Trough a experimental process, the user is invited to help a colony of parasites surviving on a host. Different strategies are available, which will influence directly or indirectly its reproductive success, in both short or long term.

Screenshot of the Prototype Alpha 0.7

Working on some wire for the project Sirènes Sylvestres. Picture by Anna.


A french interactive media artist

Nicolas Guichard
I use a designer methodology. I consider the viewer as a user, and the artwork as an object or product. The artwork is designed to be used by the viewer, while aiming personal goals. These goals are often to question the free will and the decision making mechanisms, to explore the links between emotional and rational, and to make the viewer sensitive to his environment.

Interactive media appears to be a particularly powerful means of expression to address these issues. The interactive artwork uses spatiotemporal dimensions, plus the dimension of eventualities: what could possibly happen, depending on certain factors, mainly the behavior of the viewer.

The function of the work is therefore to involve the viewer, to make him active. The aesthetics must serve this purpose. It must catch attention, arouse interest, while allowing the viewer to understand the operating system of the work. Thus, form follows function.
Nicolas Guichard, Statement

Curriculum Vitae


Send me an email on nico [at] od1.fr