ArkDes presents a virtual vernissage
An exhibition about ASMR
April 7, 2020, 5–6:30pm
SE- Stockholm

Virtual vernissage
An exhibition about ASMR

Tuesday, April 7 | 5–6:30pm CEST, 11am–12:30pm EST

ASMR, A Primer + Interactive Guided Tour with Kieran Long (Director, ArkDes), James Taylor-Foster (Curator, ArkDes), Helga Sadowski and special (virtual) guests.

ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design, is excited to invite you to the virtual vernissage of WEIRD SENSATION FEELS GOOD—an exhibition about ASMR. Tune in (with headphones) from 5pm CEST on April 7, 2020 to learn more about a field of design that mediates between mind and body.

Although we built this exhibition for the mind and for the body, for now (and for obvious reasons) we invite you to experience it with your ears and eyes! Like many works of ASMR, this virtual vernissage will be best experienced from a comfortable spot and through your favourite pair of headphones.

April 8–November 1, 2020 

As little as a decade ago, ASMR (“Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response”) was largely dismissed as a figment of the imagination. Today the term represents one of the largest movements on the Internet, and it has become impossible to ignore. As academic institutions around the world seek to make sense of the phenomenon, creatives—known as “ASMRtists”—are building on a cultural movement that transcends language and culture in favour of “feels”. WEIRD SENSATION FEELS GOOD is the first exhibition dedicated to this feeling, and the emerging field of creativity that has grown up around it.

Like meditation or yoga, ASMR happens to both your body and to your mind. It is not about speed, but about focus and slowness. ASMRtists do not seek to entertain but to relax; for experiencers, it offers a degree of insulation from a noisy, wandering world. Through sound and film, shared through broadcasting platforms such as YouTube, works of ASMR make room for close-looking, close-listening, and close-feeling.

ASMR injects the Internet with softness, kindness and empathy. As a form of digital intimacy, it offers comfort on demand, standing against the feeling of isolation that constant connectivity can deceptively breed. Anecdotally, ASMR is being used as a form of self-medication against the effects of loneliness, insomnia, stress, and anxiety. This is a cue to its success, and to its transcendental appeal.

The exhibition features a broad collection of “Unintentional-” and “Intentional-ASMR” in a cross-section of global ASMR culture. Alongside contributions by ASMRtists from around the world, the exhibition also features works by motion artists, product designers, sound artists, and the renowned television artist Bob Ross.

3Dio Sound, ANO ASMR, ASMRctica, Anders Tallsjö, Andreas Wannerstedt, Anson Fogel, Anthony Wilks, Björk, Bob Ross, Craig Richard, David Bull, FredsVoice ASMR, HaircutHarry, HidaMari Cooking, Holly Herndon + Claire Tolan, IKEA, Jennifer Allen, Life with MaK, Luca Iaconi-Stewart, Made in France ASMR, Marc Teyssier, MissASMR, PierreG ASMR, SHU AND TREE, The Slow Mo Guys, UNO ASMR, Wang & Söderström, WhisperingLife ASMR

Boxen at ArkDes
Boxen is a platform for fast-changing, experimental projects at ArkDes, the Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design. It provides space for alternative voices to inspire discussions about architecture, design, and their relationship to society by promoting radical and responsive installations, exhibitions, events and dialogues by and between architects, designers, and thinkers. Designed by the emerging architecture studio Dehlin Brattgård, Boxen opened in 2018.

Curator: James Taylor-Foster
Producer: Halla Sigurðardóttir
Exhibition Architects: ĒTER
Graphic Design: Irene Stracuzzi × PostNew
Installation: Markus Eberle, Stefan Mossfeldt with Simon Frid, Love Olsson, Vidar Ter Borch, Mikael Wettling
Producer (programme): Elisabet Schön
Digital Communication: Justina Hüll
Production Team (virtual vernissage): Johan von Reybekiel, Andreas Holmgren, Erik Zidén, Viktor Annerstål

The exhibition features an Archive of Feelings, created in collaboration with Plug-in Poetry, a mini-podcast series with contemporary Swedish poets and their works, is a collaboration with Bon Magazine. A face filter accompanies the exhibition, designed by Irene Stracuzzi × PostNew and developed by Lucia Tahan, and can be found on Instagram.

Language & Linguistics, Performance
Mass Media & Entertainment

James Taylor-Foster is a writer, editor, designer, and broadcaster working in the fields of architecture, design, e-culture, and technology. He is curator of contemporary architecture and design at ArkDes, Sweden’s national center for architecture and design, in Stockholm.


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