Micol Assaël

Micol Assaël was born in Rome in 1979, and has completed studies at The Faculty of Philosophy at La Sapienza in Rome. Assaël’s interests include magnetism, electrical engineering and energetic tensions, and she is specifically curious to see how these phenomena interact with the human body. In April 2010 Micol was part of a round table discussion with Nicola Triscott at Museion in Bolzano, Italy. The conversation was centred around the meeting of art, technology and science. Ahead of this talk, Nicola wrote a few words on her experience of Assaël's work; "A couple of years ago, I had an astonishing art experience: the experience of Micol Assaël's Chizhevsky Lessons at the Palais De Tokyo in Paris. As the director of an art organisation that specialises in artists' projects that experimentally engage with science, I knew of Assaël's work and was looking forward to my encounter with this new work. At the threshold of the gallery, signs warning of danger and a disclaimer form to sign did not make me uneasy, as even small risks seem to demand out of proportion caution from institutions these days. Entering the room, however, the hairs on the backs of my arms, and then gradually the naked skin of my face and neck, began to tingle. This was like nothing I had experienced before. Assaël had suspended a line of large charged copper panels on the room's high ceiling, their function to ionize the air. The static electricity filling the room caused this extraordinary skin sensation. I had never experienced an art piece like it. Experimentally, a friend touched my cheek (we were warned not to do this, of course) and the static shock made us jump and laugh. I was completely fascinated by the technology, as I had not realized that creating such an effect was possible on a large-scale, and I was intrigued to find out that Assaël had developed the piece with Russian scientists and named it after the Russian physicist Alexander Chizhevsky. As someone fascinated by Russian culture, as a specialist in art and science, who delights in new sensations and ambitious ideas, I am delighted to have been asked to moderate a discussion at the Museion between Assaël and Ivan Kuzhekin, her scientific collaborator on her new work Fomuska. I am excited to discover more about the ideas in Assaël's work, and to open a conversation to explore the interplay between culture, technology, and human experience in the Russian tradition."