One Very Important Presence
“One of the things almost all role-play videos have in common is that they center around a single person who is speaking to, and attending to, one very important presence: yours” -O’Connell, 2013
“ASMRtist” is the clever name adopted by those who create and release ASMR content online with the intention to provoke a static-like sensation throughout the body of viewers. For those affected by ASMR, the experience is one of calm, relaxation, focus, and, at its best, serenity. However, the practice is often criticized for subjugating reflection for pleasure, perceived as an untenable form of care which both veils and hints at the underlying and deeply-flawed socio-political issues at stake, notably the lack of a healthcare safety net in the US.
One Very Important Presence is a project which deems “ASMRtists” as not only practitioners of ASMR, but as relevant and ingenuous artists in their own right—producers of content that is at once rife with artistry, cultural relevance and political implications. This project elaborates on six themes that appear conceptually significant to contemporary ASMR practices, situating them in relation to contemporary and historical artistic practices and discourses.
An installation in The Meeting Room at NAVEL was designed to experience a mix of popular and obscure ASMR videos, carefully selected and thoroughly analyzed by the artist Dakota Higgins, an avid consumer and lover of ASMR.
A text by the artist Tasha Bjelić titled ‘Digital Care,’ accompanies the exhibition.
Dakota Higgins (b. 1995, Las Vegas) is an artist who lives and works in Los Angeles. He earned a BFA from the Otis
College of Art and Design. He recently had a solo show at El Clasificado titled The Man Who Photographed All of His
Shadows. For the next three months, he will be in a residency at the Alternative Worksite completing a work on
Courage the Cowardly Dog.