ASMR - Assisted Service for Miracle Reactions


Perhaps there is no better time to question what is the meaning of a sensorial experience than in the current social and historical moment. Thinking the materiality and senses through the use of virtual devices has never been more challenging. While connections are generated and new information is acquired, so are the levels of anxiety increasing, these include FOMO (fear of missing out on what is happening on the web), accelerated levels of visual attention, and time management issues. It is not a surprise that the demand and offer of well-being miraculous online solutions are raising and becoming a trend - from virtual yoga classes to meditation, to binaural beats and hypnosis, and most recently ASMR (a new ‘therapy’ that was born on the Internet). The question that remains to be answered is how does a visual and auditory, filtered and manicured, immaterial connection provide a kinaesthetic experience? Moreover, this question also pertains to the online perception and experience of works of art and exhibitions.

“It is not a surprise that the demand and offer of well-being miraculous online solutions are raising and becoming a trend”

Gioia di Girolamo has been developing a body of work, which focuses on the kinaesthetic acuity in the digital age. Through a choice of specific and peculiar materials such as fabric, clothing, pillows, silicone, and fabric softener, the artist defies traditional media, its dimension, and the expectations of the dominant visual system. She instigates the viewer to a new sensory experience challenging the multiple ways of sensorial perception. The skin and whichever material comes in contact with it are the means by what the artist starts her practise and research.


For the artist’s new solo show at Dimora Artica, in Milan, Gioia di Girolamo has undergone a further investigation among the unicellular systems of origin and the new globalised ways of seeking sensation. The departure point on this show is an ode to what is invisible and yet, is intrinsically part of the human materiality - the microorganism. These, which are elemental for the possibility of life, are represented as portraits of unicellular forms by the use of the primal and traditional media - painting on canvas. Cryoaea, Reveteria, Affectobia become here worshiped macro beings. 

“An ode to what is invisible and yet, is intrinsically part of the human materiality - the microorganism”

Assisted Service for Miracle Reactions is a site-specific installation of tridimensional works and videos. In order to connect events in our collective memory with the contemporary meaning of images, the artist researches the increasing solutions of self-help available online. Old sacred symbols, rituals, religious practices, are commercially appropriated for the use of a hyper-connected society in desperate need of the immediate feeling of well-being. This installation is the ultimate physical construction of what is happening behind a screen. Upsidedown egg-shaped heads made of clay with nail-polish painting lay on synthetic silicone nests. Its facial incisions are swapped and defy the automatic perception of the smile. Their shape may remind us the Cycladic minimal sculpture shapes as well as of Chinese masks. In A bag full of glittery runes the artist uses a bald head cap as a bag where these little stone-like objects are placed. Instead of alphabetic magical symbols the clay stones, painted in glitter nail-polish, have been carved with allusions to faces and fingers, reminiscing Chinese figurines, wittingly bewildering its origin, and therefore, becoming a globalised visual language - it is now the magic amulet or trinket. Sacred and religious aesthetics, symbols and ideals are all intertwined and mixed up in this ‘New-Brand New Age’, which accomplishes its purpose - miraculous online, non present, problem-solving solutions. 

The ASMR or Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response is a contemporary Internet phenomenon, which became a video genre that is exponentially increasing on Youtube. Along the tridimensional works, Gioia di Girolamo presents two videos and approaches this phenomenon in a critical and humorous manner. Continuously resorting to the touch, one screen is placed on a pillow and a small figurine is placed on top of it, receiving its warmth. 

The focus of this show, thinking the sensorial activation, emphasises the importance of questioning of the physical presence of the viewer. How does one today perceive tridimensional objects in a space, the warmth of the screens, and the vapours of perfume that twist and turn around the works? Should one wish to be physically aware, Gioia di Girolamo has created the so much needed Assisted Service for Miracle Reactions. For the ones who will be virtually present, there will be a special ASMR presentation online. 

Text Catarina Vaz
Curated by Dimora Artica
Photos Massimiliano Costantini


Born in Italy, 1984
Lives and works in Pescara, Italy
Co-founder of ULTRASTUDIO artist run space project. (
Studied at IED – European Institute of Design, Milan
represented by Galleria Bianconi Milano

Solo Exhibition

The Mating Season of frenzy Breeze at Galleria Bianconi, Milano (ITA)
The Mating Season of frenzy Breeze _ Prologue at Galleria Bianconi, Milano (ITA)
ASMR at Dimora Artica, Milano (ITA)


Re_Act contemporary art laboratory Terceira Island Azores (Pt)

Group Exhibition

2019 MIND BODY, Hotel Yorba, Detroit (USA)
2019 Towards The Last Unicorn 55_SP Galeria Sao Paulo (BRA)
2017 Matter /Non Matter MAH Museum Angra Do Heroismo Terceira (PT)
2017 And if I left off dreaming about you? Like a Little Disaster. Foothold. Polignano a Mare (Ba) Italy
2017 Swipe, Baby Swipe, TAL Gallery , Cascais, Portugal
2017 So Natural, Foot Hold curated by Like A Little Disaster , Polignano a mare (BA) Italy
2016 Just to say Hi. Curated by PPROMOTION. At PPROMOTION. Paris, 2017
2016 Too significant. Appel à project -Public Pool #2 Les objets ont la parole. A proposal from CEA: Jean Christophe Arcos, Marianne Derrien, Leila Simon. Citè des Arts. Paris
2015 The Format Follow, The Format Gallery, Milano, Italy
2014 Hidden Field. Curated by Bazis (Berlin – Cluj Napoca) and UltraStudio. private space, Pescara, Italy
2014 Mutaforma, MuMi, Museo Michetti Francavilla al Mare (CH) Italy

Source: gioia-di-girolamo