Transmitter / Receiver

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Transmitter / Receiver
Marsèll presents Transmitter / Receiver, a project by Carsten Nicolai. Studying the universe means studying chance. Refining the senses for chaos, for light, for particles.

Can any visual poetry open a gateway to the unknown? Can a dimension that otherwise remains inaccessible to our senses be made tangible? And how can a sculpture make visible what is not visible – and show various facets of the perceptible world?


Starting from questions like these and as a way of exploring uncertainties in art and science, Marsèll presents the installation Transmitter / Receiver by German artist Carsten Nicolai, as part of the Spring Summer 23 collection at Marsèll Paradise in Milan, on view from 15 April 2023 during Milan Art Week.


The Marsèll SS23 collection examines light and the delicate colours of the summer horizon. For this very reason, Marsèll has deliberately chosen to collaborate with an artist whose sensitive research explores the interface between science and art and uses the aesthetic richness of the universe as a primary source of inspiration.


Carsten Nicolai’s (*1965 in Karl-Marx-Stadt) site-specific installation functions as a multi-sensory seismograph, investigating the visual and material properties of the universe. Optical phenomena such as particles, light and colours are of central interest, as is chance.


The work Transmitter / Receiver was originally produced for Haus der Kunst Munich. The sculpture (“the machine”) is controlled by a Geiger counter, a device for measuring radioactivity. The counter detects terrestrial and extra-terrestrial radioactive particles (cosmic noise) and sends a corresponding electrical pulse to the “machine”, which modulates the pulse. The Geiger counter is mounted directly on the roof of Marsèll Paradise.


Nicolai, as scientific artist-researcher, activates his installation which in turn uses its receivers to detect the smallest particles in the universe. The “machine”, as the main medium, translates those particles into sound, light and visual worlds for us to experience.


Particularly relevant to Nicolai’s work is the exploration of chaos and chance, two of the key phenomena of the universe. It sensitises the viewers’ perceptions and allows them to witness patterns, sounds, and an abstract, cosmic “language”. Synaesthetic codes that harmonise with the Marsèll SS23 palette. A collection inspired by the beauty and random nature of light and how it coincidentally happens to reflect onto our earth.


Art and culture can inspire thought and creativity in endless ways, open up new perspectives and possibilities and often give new stimuli even in strictly regulated economically closed systems. Through collaboration with Nicolai in 2023, Marsèll continues its active support of artists and creatives, their visions and reflections to honour the utmost freedom of expression in its authenticity.

Photography Mattia Balsamini