Akil Ahamat: ASMR | ENDLESS BUTTERFLY KISSES
ASMR | ENDLESS BUTTERFLY KISSES is a generative ASMR experience in which 15 butterflies flutter in and out of audibility. Made as a companion piece to Akil’s recent online game Sonata in b minor for unity, the game reuses the programmed behaviour of the butterflies that self-generate new trajectories every time they reach their destination. While in the previous game the butterflies appear as silent evanescent sprites, this iteration renders them physically present; the flutter of their wings amplified into focus.
Following Akil’s interest in the therapeutic uses of online ASMR role-play videos, this work functions as an experiment that extrapolates a single aural motif into an endlessly evolving listening experience.
Game Programming by Ben Barnes.
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Akil Ahamat’s work across video, sound, performance, installation and games considers the physical and social isolation of online experience and its effects in configuring contemporary subjectivity. Driven particularly by their research into the use of ASMR in online spaces as a self-administered therapeutic tool, Akil translates its restorative effects into intimate audio experiences in the public space of the gallery. Translated further back into online experiences in recent work, these aesthetics are used to sensorially reproduce core questions about listening and relating.
Akil has most recently produced online works for Parramatta Artist Studios, Sydney Review of Books, Bleed: Biennial Live Event in the Everyday Digital, and PACT, Erskineville. They have most recently exhibited physically at Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, Monash University Museum of Art, Artspace, Verge Gallery and UTS ART. Akil was shortlisted for the NSW Visual Arts Emerging Emerging Fellowship (2020) and the winner of the John Fries Award, UNSW Galleries, Sydney (2018).
ASMR | ENDLESS BUTTERFLY KISSES is commissioned by 4A and curated by the Curatorial Assistant for 2021, Marco Rinaldi, as part of 4A’s Digital Curatorship. The 4A Curatorial Assistant Program is supported by the Sally Breen Family Foundation.