Linguistics: Construing visual and aural perspective in ASMR role play videos
Digital intimacy and ambient embodied copresence in YouTube videos: Construing visual and aural perspective in ASMR role play videos
University of New South Wales, Australia
This presentation explores how digital intimacy is construed through ambient embodied copresence in ‘personal attention’ role play videos, a type of ASMR video, that has become popular on YouTube. ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) is the experience of positive sensations in response to visual and aural stimuli. Online video sharing platforms have provided a way for people who experience these ASMR sensations to watch, produce, and disseminate ASMR-invoking material. In ASMR role play videos the YouTuber constructs a conceit (e.g. a beautician visit) and uses visual and aural resources to encourage the feeling in the ambient viewer that they are there with the YouTuber experiencing the interaction. This talk employs multimodal discourse analysis to explore how these videos forge an immersive (faux) interactional context, and invoke the visual and aural perspective and embodiment of the ambient viewer. The dataset considered is a playlist of 116 role play videos from the GentleWhispering ASMR YouTube channel, the most popular ASMR channel at the time of writing. Attendees are invited to watch this ASMR video (using headphones) prior to the presentation which will hopefully also help with relaxation in these stressful times.