Claire Tolan and Sonia Sagan on the Potential of ASMR
In this recorded conversation, Claire Tolan and Sonia Sagan meet in Stockholm to discuss the latent potential of the culture, community, and creative field of ASMR.
Focusing on three core themes—role-play, intimacy, and healing—Tolan and Sagan draw upon their own artistic practices and personal experiences to explore this world and imagine future applications of ASMR and its adjacent fields. What can ASMR become when lifted from the limits of the screen?
Claire Tolan is an American artist and programmer living in Berlin. Since 2013, much of her work has emerged from the sounds of ASMR. Between 2014 and 2019, Tolan hosted You’re Worth It, the ASMR show on Berlin Community Radio. She has collaborated on many recording and performance projects with artists such as Holly Herndon, Inger Wold Lund, Hanne Lippard, Camilla Steinum, and Susan Ploetz. Alongside Holly Herndon, Tolan is a participant of the exhibition WEIRD SENSATION FEELS GOOD with the audio work Lonely at the Top from the album Platform (2015). [Portrait: Max Creasy]
Sonia Sagan is a concept artist based in Stockholm, currently studying their third year at the Royal Institute of Art. The focus of their practice is “ATAR Walk With Me” or the “ATARI-faith”, a gesamtkunstwerk exploring the making of a modern sage over the course of ten years. The reclamation of imagination, by a blissful reinterpretation of dystopia, is Sagan’s subversive tactic of choice – and the greatest potential for existence post-truth. Born in the land of Alfred Nobel and the traditionally arson-prone Yule goat of Gävle, and descended from the holy petrol fires of Iran/Azerbaijan, the “ATARI-faith” explores the revolutionary potential at the intersection of fire worship and landscape theory. It frames the ASMR of resistance as our pathway to eco-emotional sustainability. Who speaks for earth? The underground. [Portrait courtesy of the artist]