ASMR Corridor by Claire Tolan

Paloma Powers, the futurist art agitator and dark materialist, is fascinated by the body as an interface for aesthetic intervention, inside and out. As the line between art object and lifestyle accessory is increasingly blurred, does corporeal sensation itself also become commodity?

This summer, Paloma is pleased to present a special intervention at L.A.'s Various Small Fires gallery inspired by ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response), the psycho-physical “tingling” sensation triggered by various stimuli, that has become the basis for an entire online subculture. (Read more about ASMR here)

Through a new sound piece by Berlin’s Claire Tolan and a live workshop/symposium in early July, ASMR will be explored as a key site where the body, technology, ritual, and commerce intersect, and what provocative possibilities this holds for artists, scientists and speculative capitalists alike.

Claire Tolan’s “Maybe it wants what it wanted inside out” will premiere as a 5-channel installation in Various Small Fires sound corridor (parallel to the group exhibition “No! I Am No Singular Instrument” curated by Samuel Kenswil), and is also available to experience online - put on your headphones and listen here, and read the artist's text here.

In early July, a very special NonSalon symposium will convene guests from the worlds of art, sound, neuroscience and online communities to discuss this enigmatic phenomenon and tailor live experiences for the participants - stay tuned for details here.


Since 2013, much of Claire Tolan’s work has found its foundation in the sounds of ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Tolan has hosted “You’re Worth It,” an ASMR show on Berlin Community Radio for over two years. She has also worked with ASMR in performance, recording, and exhibition, collaborating with musician Holly Herndon, writer and artist Inger Wold Lund, and artist Camilla Steinum, among others. Tolan was the 2015 Goethe-Institut and SPACE Perlin Noise sound artist-in-residence at London’s White Building. At present, Tolan is developing an ASMR-inspired tabletop role-playing game (RPG) system. Claire Tolan’s current work with ASMR uses the soft and mesmerising sounds as equipment in sometimes sweet, and sometimes sardonic, systems of soothing.