Speculators In Shush, Final presentation and performance by Claire Tolan 5 March 2016


Final presentation and performance by Claire Tolan

Doors open 7.00pm for 7.30pm start
Followed by drinks at the bar

Claire Tolan presents and performs works created during her month-long stay in Malta. At the centre of the evening will be a public performance of a new table-top role-playing game (RPG), SPECULATORS IN SHUSH. SPECULATORS IN SHUSH extends the creation myth of Tolan’s company of soothing, SHUSH SYSTEMS, deploying it in a Dungeons and Dragons-esque game-as-interactive-performance.

SPECULATORS IN SHUSH will also comprise an exhibition of the materials that Tolan created in preparation for the game, as well an audio tour that guides attendees through the installation and into the space of the game itself. Finally, there will be a small sound installation of Tolan’s existing work.

Since 2014, Tolan has worked extensively with ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response [1], on the radio and in recording, installation, writing, and performance.

Tolan’s recent work moves away from ASMR-as-tingling-phenomenon, focusing instead on rituals of soothing via interactive performances and recordings. How is the individual soothed in the face of the anxiety triggered by complex systems like states, finance, and climate change? And, if we break this soothing into a taxonomy of coping mechanisms, spin the mechanisms around, and perform them collectively as rituals, can we change our understanding of these systems? Could we even develop more strategic, empowered ways of encountering them?

Read more about ASMR:

For an intro to ASMR you can begin with these videos:

Learn more about SHUSH SYSTEMS:

Recent interview with Tolan:

[1] ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, is a tingling sensation that some people experience in response to soft sounds such as whispering, nail tapping, or hair brushing. Millions of videos attempting to trigger the sensation have been posted to YouTube in recent years. Though the videos are created primarily to provoke the tingling sensation, many people find the videos incredibly soothing, tuning in not to experience ASMR, but to ease insomnia, depression, and anxiety.