On Deep Breaths and Friends Forever: Im/materiality and Mis/communication in Happy Angels Revisited

By | 1 February 2019

Drawing from post-ASMR principles1 – no tingles just Truth – I want to instil a sense of spatial expansiveness, in you – clouds can always help you – and personal attention, to you – every house is growing you are growing too how is your halo? – in an exercise of body-awareness, contours-melting-awareness, and of paying heed to never-ending overflows. I want to induce tingly feelings down your skin and spine by being serene and breathing into your hairy electric ear. How can I comfort you without physically being with you?

thinkin …


forever traces

The media historian John Durham Peters, in tracing the genealogy of ‘communication’ in the West, notes its conceptual development since the 19th century in relation to Distance and Death; the two great barriers and driving forces of desire. The emergence of recording and transmission technologies (e.g. the telephone, phonograph, tape recorder, broadcast radio) gave newfound meaning to contact with ghosts as all these audiovisual doppelgängers began to accumulate in the electrical × digital ether. Communication was no longer hindered by geography or the bodies necessary for ‘the age-old grubby face-to-face work of making lives together in language’ (5). Happy Angel Revisited’s pleasant lamb-like sounds can be played and heard on loop forever, just like no direction in the sea, reverberating with magic, lovely stars, and deep breaths. I don’t want to assume direct access to Truth via the soul of the Subject (neither animals nor angels), but it is kind of endearing (even if pathological) to think about the recorded voice never getting tired, and so never running out of breath. Phonic traces of ‘I’ can now speak to ‘you’, even after I/we ‘die’… too buzzy. As Friedrich Kittler reminds us, the spirit-world as left-behind media traces, is ‘as large as the storage and transmission possibilities of a civilization’ (Peters: 139). Thanks to all these technological mediators (made from raw and mutated Earth), Happy Angels Revisited can help its listener reset and embody tenderness anywhere, anytime, for eternity.


anything can go through your body so you don't need to hold anything in

How do we render audible so-called ‘alternate’ cosmologies, being swirly, and the importance of self-reflection? What are the sounds of fuzzy feelings and growing houses?


using trust as buffer in creative practice research, e.g. friendship as methodology [F.A.M.]

What is this blank slate I keep trying to imagine at the point of encounter between theory and practice? As if encounters don’t happen beneath and outside of us, as if we’re not already drawing from and interacting with fluid material outside of discrete categories;

outside of Names and Forms;

such as friendship or intuition:

interference happens with or without you.

I’m too salty, I’m too seasoned…………………………… 😉

The reason I coo into an omnidirectional condenser microphone in my parents’ bathroom is because the ceramic tiles make it sound more cave-like and tender. I am cosplaying as want to be the story’s very warm infinite ocean angel mum but maybe I wouldn’t if I was reading someone else’s work – for example, somebody who is not my friend – I don’t know. It’s just that I realised that mine and Hela’s overlapping interests in health and magic already impressed itself into the reading-recording process even before I was aware I wanted to.

Bodies are an enfleshment of genealogies, of inherited social and creative decisions.

I believe people who tell me I have a ‘good voice for ASMR’. For me, this descriptor acts as external validation and also as buffer to justify creative decision-making. ASMR’s tingle-agenda is received by some as pleasant and euphoric, but to others, the plosive, sibilant, sucking sounds are laden with sexual undertones and can induce extreme discomfort and repulsion. I’m not sure why it matters but given the widely divergent responses to ASMR, if I fall flat on my face in my engagement with it, I have something to defer to outside of myself in the pursuit of wanting to make you feel very relaxed. This is also how citation operates; using names to capitulate to and validate self-expression with other people’s (already revered) expressions. Though, I wonder who I might be gesturing to or who is listening to me, whose attention do I want and for what purpose? Which bodies and agents constitute my communities and who am I trying to make … feel good? What’s discursive anyway and why does it matter in the poetics and politics of storytelling for embodied relationality?

Your voice is soothing – ok so I will read you a bedtime story, no problem.

As a (mis)communications researcher who’s trying to understand the ethics of knowledge-sharing, I don’t want to willy-nilly fling information into the ether without buffers, even though nothing thought or said can happen in a vacuum. Trust is foundational to reckoning with (the) o(O)ther(s) – moss, flames, humans, and eels in all their iterations – because reciprocity is coincidental and never guaranteed, but who what where how do we trust to Hold and make space for our outputs, and what impulses and motivations are implicated in such an orientation? If mis/communication can be thought of as a gesture of un/faith because of the impossibility of pure transmission, where should I direct my un/faith to hold space for what I put outside of me? Some might say we aren’t owed anything, which might be true if we’re centering this idea of permanent in/fidelity to source, but it is pointless to linger here, stagnant, without having faith in the possibilities of contaminated expressions and feedback loops as a mode of relating to other bodies, histories, and galaxies better.

there is a big shape coming……………… !!!!! omgg
  1. ASMR, the acronym for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a term given to divergent acoustic stimuli and their sensory responses, often termed ‘tingles’ by the ASMR community. Dually understood as a millennial internet phenomenon, self-called ‘ASMRtists’ produce audiovisual content (most of which exist on YouTube) in attempts to induce such ‘tingles’ via various scenarios (role-playing or personal modes of address) which centre around intimacy, tactility, and the expanded slowness of in between, everyday noises.
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