Claire Tolan is an artist and programmer who works with the sounds of ASMR. Participate in two shared sound performances created and led by Tolan live in Stockholm.

ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is a term that describes a physical sensation: euphoria or deep calm, sometimes a tingling in the body. In recent years an online audience of millions has grown, dedicated to watching the work of designers and content creators who try to trigger this feeling in their viewers. WEIRD SENSATION FEELS GOOD (open until November 1, 2020 and also available to experience virtually) is the first museum exhibition dedicated to this feeling and the emerging field of creativity that has grown up around it.

SOFT GOSSIP by Claire Tolan comprises two immersive ASMR performances: Many Tongues in the Evening: Chorus and One Tongue in the Morning: Meditation. Both performances explore the themes of hospitality, riddles and gossip, as well as the discipline, intimacy, and close-contact of close-listening. The sunset performance on October 2nd features a whisper chorus while the sunrise meditation on October 3rd is a solo performance.

Lifting the sounds of ASMR out from the screen and into public space, the performances invite you to participate in an ineffable, effable, effanineffable conspiracy of togetherness. Claire Tolan

Many Tongues in the Evening: Chorus
October 2, 2020, 18.00

Taking place inside the exhibition space after the museum closes, Claire Tolan’s sunset performance features a chorus of volunteers.

One Tongue in the Morning: Meditation
October 3, 2020, 09.00

Experience a meditative sunrise performance with Claire Tolan.

Listen to the performances again on ArkDes Play.

Participant Guide

ASMR is highly individual and can be felt in different ways, to different intensities, between different people. It is also possible to feel nothing at all. The experience of ASMR requires quiet, calm, and comfortable conditions. Consent is key. If you feel uncertain at any point, please let the ASMR performer or a museum host know and we will be happy to pause the performance. Similarly, please treat fellow participants and the ASMR performers with consideration and respect.

The goal of this live ASMR performance is offer an opportunity for you to become more aware of ASMR is and can be. The best experience will be possible when you feel comfortable, relaxed, and open-minded. We invite you to acknowledge your own vulnerability and to respect the vulnerability of others. If you’d like to learn more about the creative field of ASMR, you can read the exhibition booklet.

Practical Information

Please bring your most comfortable wired headphones (with a 3.5mm headphone jack) to the performance. If you don’t have headphones, a pair will be provided for you. Please note that headphones that are not noise-cancelling are recommended. As the performance takes place inside the exhibition WEIRD SENSATION FEELS GOOD, you will be required to remove your shoes; foot coverings will be provided. More detailed information will be communicated to registered participants ahead of the performance.

Information in Light of COVID-19

ArkDes follows recommendations and regulations issued by the Swedish Public Health Agency in order to create a safe environment for both participants and performers.

Both performances will be restricted to a maximum of 10 participants each, and all participants and performers will be required to keep a distance of 2 metres throughout the duration of the show. You are not permitted to participate in the performance if you feel unwell; in case you feel unwell prior to the performance, you will be entitled to forfeit your ticket at any time.

For more information, please contact us. Learn more about current advice from the Swedish Public Health Agency.

About Claire Tolan

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).

You can watch an interview with Claire Tolan (in English) as part of the Pillow Talks conversation series.

The performances are curated by James Taylor-Foster and produced by Elisabet Schön. Photography of Many Tongues in the Evening: Chorus by Klaudia Rychlik. Portrait of Claire Tolan by Max Creasy.