The first exhibition on ASMR

“Weird Sensation Feels Good” is opening in Stockholm: an exhibition on a contemporary expression of digital intimacy 

Spending too much time in our comfort zones is undoubtedly harmful for our emotional growth; yet an unprecedented need for comfort is the signature of these years, in a land of no longer modern or postmodern unease. A land where it becomes hard to even name sensations. That is the land where you night have come across ASMR.

Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response — a static-like feeling of low-grade euphoria or deep calming, triggered by gentle sound, touch and movement — will become a show at ArkDes in Stockholm, opening to the public next April 8th.

“Weird Sensations Feel Good” wants to transpose a world of digital intimacy, made of whispering sounds, rustlings and recursive crackles, into a public act of sharing, exploring the world of ASMR as a physical reaction, a revolutionary internet culture, a technology-driven craft, and a field of design.

Gentle Whispering, among the first ASMR youtubers. Today her YouTube channel has 1,82M subscribers and her most popular video 22M views.

“A broad collection of unintentional- and intentional-ASMR in a cross-section of global ASMR culture” is announced “from the first whisper video published on YouTube by ASMRtist WhisperingLife, to works by the likes of Ikea, Apple Inc., and Björk, Marc Teyssier's Artificial Skin for Mobile Devices, present works by painter and TV-host Bob Ross, known for The Joy of Painting on PBS.

In the words of curator James Taylor-Foster, ASMR is helping us to understand  “the evolution of digital intimacy and emergent structures of collective feeling. (…)In harnessing the very technologies it seeks to subvert—hyperconnectivity and the Internet, the screen, and streaming platforms—it carves out a niche for kindness, care, empathy, and new forms of hospitality online.”

Bob Ross in the American TV show The Joy of Painting on PBS channel between 1983 and 1994. Ross is considered the father of ASMR.

As conceived with ĒTER Architects to establish a connection between intimate and public dimension, Taylor-Foster continues, “the exhibition features a kilometre-long pillow that falls from the walls, interlaces with itself, and drapes across the floors. Somewhere in-between a bed and public bench, this pillow invites you to forget some of the codified behaviours of a museum and engage with the world of ASMR in a way that foregrounds comfort, softness, and slowness. Will people feel “tingles” in this exhibition? We’re going to find out!”

Irene Stracuzzi + PostNew, Five Characters. graphic identity for WEIRD SENSATION FEELS GOOD, 2020.

James Taylor-Foster
Design Team:
ĒTER Architects; graphic works by Irene Stracuzzi + PostNew
Boxen at ArkDes
Exercisplan 4, Skeppsholmen - Stockholm
Opening dates:
8 April - 31 May 2020

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