[Image: A glimpse of Chizhevsky Lessons by Micol Assaël; image courtesy of ArtForum].
Named after a Russian scientist “who explored the correlation between solar activity and historical events,” Chizhevsky Lessons is an art installation in Basel, Switzerland, by Micol Assaël.
The gallery it’s displayed in looks a bit like an empty room. You do see a series of copper plates hanging above you in space, and there’s a triangle, attached to wires, hovering alone in the center, like a Modernist chandelier.
But aside from those somewhat occultish pieces of interior decor, the place looks perfectly normal.
Still, it doesn’t feel right:
Upon entering, one first senses a disquieting buzz sound, followed by a tickling of the skin as one’s body hair stands on end. It’s the loaded atmosphere that precedes a thunderstorm, but re-created artificially with a cascade generator, a transformer, copper plates, and, hung three meters above the floor, a thin wire net that fills the room with negatively charged ions. One cannot help but experience an immediate physical reaction…
Sure, it’s basically just a huge science experiment – but I can’t stop myself wondering what a slightly less powerful, much more well-hidden model could do for you.
If you installed it in, say, a corporate board room: the CEO looks down upon her minions with derision and rage – because they didn’t finish the monthly report. As she speaks they hear a disquieting buzzing sound, followed by a tickling of the skin as one’s body hair stands on end…
It’d be like the Greek myths, reenacted through 21st century technology. The divine encounter: install six of these in St. Peter’s.
Or, for that matter, install one, secretly, in your bedroom – and wait for the sparks to fly.
(Thanks again to Dan Polsby!)