ASMR is the tingly feeling many people get in their head when they watch and listen to somebody playing with hair, turning pages in a magazine or explaining something quietly.
I’ve introduced a lot of people to the bewildering world of ASMR videos over the past few months, during the build up and production of our ASMR movie, Murmurs. People snigger, because it’s an absurd thing to watch. Then the next day they tell you they spent their whole evening watching strangers eating and brushing their hair on YouTube.
As you know, I consider absurdity to be the jam in the sandwich of human experience. Here are 8 sweet and fruity conserves to add tang to your tingles.
“Are you ready to check out?” Most ASMR videos you’ll see will look kind of glossy. Consumer cameras are hi-res these days, and many of the leading ASMRtists invest in professional gear to get those pure tingles to their viewers. Lloyd’s ASMR videos look like they were directed by Harmony Korine. Coupled with his deadpan demeanour, this makes Lloyd’s videos a sinister prospect. Thankfully, his moustache and deep voice channel enough Tom Sellecknicity into the show to keep one reassured of one’s own safety.
2. ASMR Angel
I love biscuits. Biscuits are one of the finest things humankind has created. But living in Bosnia, well… it’s not a biscuit culture. So I need to get my fix somehow. Also: if there is a ‘prime time’ for ASMR, I reckon it’s the afternoon. Those sleepy hours when the drive of the day has gone and stuff’s just happening around you. ASMR Angel’s Biscuits of Britain & Beyond series seems to exist in a perpetual, biscuity afternoon.
She’s dark. She’s funny. She’ll toy with your mind, posting and pulling down bizarre trigger vids before you even process what you’ve just heard. Key theme? Gynaecology. Latest vid? Ladybird on a tampon.
Did the Italian Futurists foresee a world of ASMR videos? Of course those overgrown schoolboys didn’t. But they arguably invented sound poetry, and Softly Galoshes has found an anti-futurist, video-primitivist application for it: making you feel tingly and safe. Actually, I can’t handle it, but I salute Softly for her very popular avant-garde practice in the trail of Maja Ratke, Jean-Louis Brau et al.!
His Automaton series is a diary of voyeuristic glimpses into the universe of time-stranded wayward genius Dr. Eugenius. Mr Asimar craftily integrates a wealth of sound effects into his visual steampunkscapes to take you to a never-time while you get your tingles.
6. Tony Bomboni
First off, Tony Bomboni sounds like he’s been Name Game’d. And maybe he has. But secondly, In addition to yer standard grooming vids, Tony is hellbent on exploring the performance art end of straight-to-camera ASMR through faeries, shaman and – best of all – MERMAN - personae whose garish make-up calls to mind a, er, quieter Ryan Trecartin.
Could “Just vinegar and water” become a catchphrase? Nancy doesn’t bring ASMR to the camera – the camera rolls with Nancy as she lives her everyday life, gardening, cleaning, weaving, making soap or watching the deer. This is Nancyvision.
Daft and ridiculous, with a cruel sense of humour, Hana is the fictional ASMRtist superstar in my new flick Murmurs. With millions of fictional hits and a household full of homemade smart objects (smart slippers, smart hairbrush) Hana hasn’t felt the need to leave her home for 18 months. And that’s where the movie begins. Hana is played by Bosnian artist Elma Selman.
You can find out more about Murmurs and support our crowdfunding campaign here – igg.me/at/murmursfilm - we really need your support to get the thing finished and bring Hana to your screens. Please spread the word! (Quietly).