ASMR

Jun. 11th, 2013 04:10 pm
snousle: (scruffy)
[personal profile] snousle
[cross-posted from G+]

So just so you know, my last post was not really a funny yuk-yuk post, although I have to admit the subject admits for a lot of humor.

I have a real strong reaction to these videos and they seem to me to be a new art form. Well, maybe not all that new, I am reminded of a few antecedents - Duchamp's stuff, for instance, or Tusalava, a video I encountered in New Zealand:

http://youtu.be/flJOXMln4C0

I don't think anyone has identified Tusalava as an #ASMR video but it seems like a good candidate. And it was done in, what, the 30s or something? People were so interesting back then.

It's much better on the Internet, by the way, the museum didn't have audio. Or maybe they had headphones, I don't remember. Anyway, if you want a little ten minute meditation, I recommend setting aside some quiet time and watching / listening intently. It's a definite "trip" and I think most people will experience drug-like effects.

Anyway, I absolutely groove on these videos and they generate in me a response that is comparable in intensity to any soft drug. It's kind of like that sensation you get from one of those wire scalp massagers. It's pleasurable and deeply calming.

And no scientific basis so far. Isn't life interesting? It's like we have a whole new petri dish in which these things can incubate. And this may not be all that new but the YouTube phenomenon you can't just ignore.

I remember a science fiction story a while back that involved a "pattern", any representation of which - visual, audio, even tactile - would cause death. Of course some senator exclaims "this is bullshit" and demands to see the pattern. The scientists all avert their eyes and he drops dead. I have always believed that such a thing might exist, although as with most things the observer would probably have to be trained in the genre. :-P

But we do expect new viral forms of video to emerge, and the "uncanny" nature of this makes it a good candidate for memetic propagation.

What is going on? I see parallels to sexuality, sure, but I think these are actually "grooming" videos that stimulate and play on the primate desire to groom and be groomed. The less hurried and driven the grooming is, the more exquisite it is. The infantile nature of some of the sounds - soft cooing and whispering - suggests some kind of regression or role-play circuits are being stimulated. Fuzzy textures, gentle caresses - it's the sadism of cuteness I referenced in yesterday's post.

I guess there's a certain obsessive-compulsive angle to this too, and I wonder if they are stroking the same circuits that OCDers pleasure themselves with by, you know, DETAILS.

And, in a world full of pornography, it's a new kind of porn. It stimulates an appetite in a way that is detached from its original role. Under this broad description, there is a breathtaking amount of porn in the world, what makes this interesting is that it's so unexpected and out-there. If you had asked me, would this be cool to do, I would say yes, absolutely, I've even proposed such ideas myself to incredulous listeners. What's new to me is the refinement of it into an Internet-deliverable package. Sort of like when they invented the Fleshlight. I don't know if most other people "get" it at all, if they have the sensitivity to experience the frisson of these films. But even without the brain fireworks it seems like a good meditation technique, just lose yourself in it and switch off for a while. I figure even if it's not 100% healthy it's a hell of a lot more benign than the way some people get their kicks!

Date: 2013-06-12 12:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dhpbear.livejournal.com
That film pulls down my pants and calls its friends...
Edited Date: 2013-06-12 01:46 am (UTC)

Date: 2013-06-12 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] come-to-think.livejournal.com
Alas, it only made me sleepy.

I once read a story about a *theorem* that paralyzed anyone who proved it. Mathematicians, forever after, had to be delicately warned to stay away from a certain class of problems.

Date: 2013-06-12 02:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] theoctothorpe.livejournal.com
That's interesting… I just recently re-listened to the "This American Life" episode that had a segment on ASMR. For me, it's a strange 'plasma' state of seemingly incongruous 'hyper relaxation', and can be triggered by things similar to white noise (shoving your hand into a giant bag of coffee beans, and pulling it out, or grabbing a bunch of marbles or tumbled stones and letting them fall).

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/491/tribes?promo=1#play (act 2)

Date: 2013-06-15 11:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fingertrouble.livejournal.com
I <3 Len Lye. I petitioned for the DVD release on my blog and interestingly the Len Lye Institute responded...eventually his work (minus this one, oddly) was released and I own a copy. Well recommended, a lot is very like this, very trippy in a Maya Deren kind of way (someone else who seems to work in a similar trance-like repetition realm sometimes)

I've done videos inspired by Len Lye, and also used his work during VJing. It just goes with *everything*.

Date: 2013-06-16 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fingertrouble.livejournal.com
Actually yes I have seen bits of this - there's a documentary a friend sent me called 'Doodles' or something, with bits of this in about Len Lye...

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