As Artagaveytia noted, “there’s nothing typical” about Escif’s projects—“but that is the fun part.” Together, they designed what Escif called a “virtual vandalization” of the museum entitled “Tokemon Go,” which launched the opening week of “Encore un jour banane” and consisted of AR graphics hidden around the Palais de Tokyo. (The name is a riff on the AR mobile sensation Pokémon Go.) Using the Graffiti Yoga app, visitors could discover the 13 Tokemons placed around the museum.
“Tokemon Go” was inspired by the endless creativity Escif saw in the children who participated in the “Encore un jour banane” workshops. “Kids are usually more creative and spontaneous than we are,” he noted, “so it’s easy to get some crazy results from them.” He wanted to relight that spark within his own practice. “I tried to recover my [inner] kid and just play with installations from other artists.”
The Tokemons include shopping bags on a
sculpture; the cast of the Power Rangers posing under the words “Sorry for Fukushima” on a staircase; and a pastry, titled Security Brioche
—a pun for “security breach”—hovering above ’s
hyperrealistic miniatures of two men.
Though Escif has warned against the dangers of becoming absorbed in one’s smartphone, he said that AR technology does open the door to new modes of expression. “I like the way that augmented reality gives the chance to add some new shapes to reality, as graffiti does, without any authorization needed,” he explained. “Although technology can be a big limitation for expression, it also gives us some new tools for freedom.”