Shh… hold your forearm up to your ear and run a hand along the skin. Listen.
Does it sound soothing?
ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) content exploded some years ago, with YouTubers and other creators posting videos online designed to calm, relax and sedate listeners through whispers, crackles and other amplified low sounds.
The term is fairly new too, having only been coined in 2010.
Now the Design Museum is about to unveil an aptly named exhibition dedicated to ASMR, called Weird Sensation Feels Good: The World of ASMR.
It’s a world-first exhibition on this theme and will likely make attendees feel tingly from the sensation ASMR gives the brain – being known as a ‘brain orgasm’.
For most people, the sensation begins on the scalp and moves down the back of the neck, or it can feel like a general fuzziness.
Designed to be interactive, it will include works from Björk and Bob Ross, a performative installation by Tobias Bradford, an interactive commission by Marc Teyssier, and works by YouTubers including The Slo Mo Guys, HidaMari Cooking and 슈앤트리 SHU AND TREE.
There are 12 exhibits in total to explore, which will look at the ‘culture, community and creativity of the movement’ and allow visitors to create their own ASMR content in an interactive studio.
On TikTok, the hashtag ‘asmr’ has 318.3billion views to date, showing just how many people love the effects of ASMR videos.
According to the data collected by music streaming service Deezer, scissor cutting, breathing and rustling were the three most popular ASMR sounds and in the UK, 33% of fans said they used it for comfort and relaxation, while 27% said it helped reduce stress.
The exhibition will likely be a hit among the digital generation with that in mind.
Opening from May 13, tickets can be purchased on the Design Museum website.
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