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From YouTube clips of pimple-popping to a sharp knife cutting through pink sand, a new genre of online entertainment has emerged.
This category has been labelled “Oddly Satisfying” – something that surprisingly soothes our psyche, removing us from stressful environments and placing the viewer in a new world.
In 1999, a study by the Smithsonian Museum found that visitors experienced the museum as “satisfying” through engagement with objects, cognitive activity, introspective feelings and/or social interaction. While these relate to physical exhibition spaces, a contemporary form of satisfaction is produced through videos including ASMR. “Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response” is a tingly feeling or hyper-relaxed state triggered by certain noises and visuals. As curators we are interested in the person behind the screen; watching these tactile engagements with an object.
Profile Gallery’s “Space 3”, includes artworks by Sandra Araujo, Benjamin Hall, Yasmin Morgan, Ellie Niblock, Lily Thompson and Georgie Strauss. Selected by Grace Frazer and Farah Dailami via social media, the artworks within “Oddly Satisfying” attempt to elicit an inexplicably pleasing quality.
“Oddly Satisfying” aims to reflect on a new culture of sensual, emotional, physical and visual engagement. Following the categorisations of the 1999 study, how can curators and artists in a digital age make a viewer experience “Oddly Satisfying”?