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ASMR that moves you

18 May 2020

ASMR that moves you

Alicia Harvie is a contemporary dancer, performer and maker based on the Gold Coast and a well-known as a member of the Gogi Collective. She applied to our Rage Against the V(irus) fund for a digital experience called Autonomous Adage Mirroring Response (AAMR), where she will be aiming to invite the observer to imitate the motion of a portrait by evoking the tingling of mirror neurones.

Playing on the ideas of ASMR (seen at HOTA recently in workshops and performances by WhispersRed) where auditory tricks, such as soft voices and sounds, are used to trigger a physical response, Alicia was inspired to see if she could take this concept further, and incorporate her love of movement into the concept.

‘The idea for this project came from the convergence of three things in my life. 1) I like to wonder around Southport with my baby for little outings. I noticed a fairly new highly ornate karaoke bar that opened (hard to miss but I felt like I discovered it). The colours and room decor blew my mind, so I’ve been dreaming about those rooms. 2) In another part of my life a friend introduced me to ASMR on youtube. I found it fascinating that she likes to listen to the whispers of a girl named Gibi who describe beauty products in a high definition microphone as a relaxation. 3) During isolation as a fitness instructor I found myself leading online classes and scrolling the internet for yet another online class. They all seemed so similar in style, presentation and movement that I was bored by my own industry so I started imagining and wondering what an abstract fitness video would look like.

‘The result of these things has led me down the path of designing and experimenting with what I call Autonomous Adage Mirroring Response (AAMR), which is a movement and art experience for fringe you-tubers. I can’t explain it well yet because it’s is still to be fully discovered.’ Alicia said.

As the current situation sees many more people turning to youtube for fitness videos, Alicia intends to present something a little different from the norm. In a series of videos, she’ll create a new kind of digital experience, where slow and fluid movements will trigger a desire to copy. But creating these experiences has come with some challenges.

‘I’ve been a performing artist so the digital is all DIY…eek but I’m amazed at what you can do DIY. I’m loving it. The thing I wonder about this idea is if anyone will actually be experimental enough to do the physical workout or maybe it’s too strange. That’s my juggle… with this online experience,’ she said.

People who watch ASMR, which is a very popular style of video on youtube, report tingling and relaxation, I’m hoping that I get enough people who report some interesting sensations when engage with my videos. I liken it to those times when you see someone do a cartwheel and you get the desire to do one yourself even if it’s been years. I’m hoping people see beautiful movement, feel a pull to copy and then feel some kind of embodiment with the artwork.’As with many of us Alicia has felt the impacts of the pandemic.

Like so many artists I have a side gig, running a fitness studio which has been completely paused. I think this is the first time in a long time that I’ve not had to juggle a side gig and thus I’ve had this space and time for thinking and imagining which has been quite a delight. Of course, in reality we had to cancel all our plans and go back to the drawing board for how to make work this year which on another positive note has made us reflect better on some of our stuff.’

You can check out the Autonomous Adage Mirroring Response videos here.


Autonomous Adage Mirroring Response has been supported by HOTA, Home of Arts through HOTA’s Artist Fund: Rage against the V(irus).