👄👂🏻👁️ very close to me 👁️👂🏻👄 was a collaboration between myself and Heather Mease, fellow UVA grad student. It was written for UVA's Technosonics festival, in February 2018.
We both wanted to do a piece on ASMR, since for both of us the genre is equally weird, relaxing, and worth thinking about - in particular, the physical and psychological distance between the creator and the consumer. There is a perceived closeness, especially in roleplay ASMR videos, where there is some sense of intimacy between the two actors - even questions asked from one to the other. But the consumer can never respond in a way the creator would perceive, thanks to the enormous volume of the audience, thanks to the distance, thanks to the time difference between the posting of a video and the viewing of it years later. Speaking into the void and being heard by strangers, who are incapable of interacting with something that looks and sounds so close and intimate.
This was recorded with an improvised binaural head, so it will sound better in headphones than through speakers. Heather's video work involves a lot of gorgeous/meticulous manipulation of 8mm or 16mm tape, with the video scratched out, drawn/painted over, or blank tape painted over. They're almost all home videos; something felt right about family vs intimacy vs loneliness. We've performed this live in the past, with some of the tape parts cut out.