Light Touch: ASMR NonSalon and Closing Event for Exhibitions
July 9, 2016
On Saturday, July 9, Paloma Powers will present “Light Touch”, a NonSalon exploring the art and science of ASMR through conversation, videos, and performance, at Various Small Fires.
“Light Touch” will act as a closing event for the group exhibition No! I am No Singular Instrument and Claire Tolan’s work in the VSF sound corridor, Maybe it wants what it wanted inside out.
What is ASMR, or “autonomous sensory meridian response”? It’s defined as “sounds that feel good”, and refers to a pleasant tingling sensation that certain people get in response to various sonic or cognitive triggers. In the six years since the term was coined, this enigmatic phenomenon has spawned an enormous online subculture centered on YouTube, where videos by amateur “ASMRtists” rack up millions of views. But how does this experience work in the brain? How does ASMR relate to the wellness industry? Can ASMR videos be seen as a true contemporary folk art?
These and other questions will be investigated on July 9, with special guests from the worlds of neuroscience (Kerin Higa), sound (Christina Gubala), and new media (Anne Orchier/sasCha murmurZ). Through an evening of talks, video screenings, live ASMR performances, and a sound corridor installation by Claire Tolan, we’ll consider ASMR as a key site where the body, technology, ritual, and commerce intersect, and what provocative possibilities this holds for artists, scientists and speculative capitalists alike.