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kottke.org posts about Helle Breth Klausen

Self-Medicating Media: Relax in Online Ambiance Rooms

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 23, 2021

From the NY Times on The Soothing, Digital Rooms of YouTube, a genre of video that pairs animated scenery with ambient soundscapes:

The genre is a close cousin of A.S.M.R. (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos, which are meant to evoke the pleasant brain-tingling sensation that some people experience when they hear sounds like hair brushing, nail tapping and soft whispers.

But ambience videos are differentiated, their creators say, by their purpose — not necessarily to give the tingles, but to relax and soothe a viewer by means of an immersive experience.

These videos all have names like Underwater Study Room, Cozy Cabin in the mountains, Jazz Bar in Paris, and Forest Sounds. They’re related to slow TV and other meditative videos I’ve posted over the years (e.g. the idling Arctic icebreaker & Tibetan singing bowl music. In the article, Helle Breth Klausen calls this genre “self-medicating media”.