ARTIST PROFILE

Jiří Žák

  • Czech Republic (b. 1989 in Zlín)
  • Currently in Prague.

CONTACT & LINKS

Gun

  • 2016
  • Video
  • 11 min, 25 sec

  • ASMR video with gun.

  • 0
  • Img 3913
  • Journey through the Middle-East and Africa - thumbnail Gun - thumbnail Candies and the international relationships - thumbnail Declaration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (part 1) - thumbnail Declaration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (part 2) - thumbnail

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    Autonomous Infected Sensory Meridian Response | 2016

ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos are a strange phenomenon of our time. They are ostentatiously without content, strictly non-conflictual, and their only goals are emotions and mood, relaxation, and perhaps meditation and other sensual experiences. In these videos a performer, usually a woman with brightly painted lips and nails, triggers ASMR in the viewer by whispering random words or by fondling, stroking, and tapping various objects. These “sticky” sounds (as one performer called them) evoke a kind of synesthetic experience in which all this sensual input causes a tingling chill to run down the viewer’s spine. The genre is based on evoking emotional and physical reactions to sound, or it combines sound and image, which naturally is another area of interest for many artists – with the difference that they are often interested in transmitting information and in the potential for change. That is why, in last year’s Autonomous Infected Sensory Meridian Response, Jiří Žák “infected” this genre with political information. He founded his own YouTube channel, where he posted several videos in which the female performer strokes and taps a world atlas while showing the countries of the Middle East and Africa to which the Czech Republic exports weapons. As she does this, she whispers citations from the annual report of the Ministry of Industry and Trade – information that viewers would otherwise not be interested in and that would never keep their attention. The fact that Žák’s ASMRs are similar to erotic ASMRs caused one viewer of the video to mistakenly think that the performer was perverted. If we look at Žák’s most recent works, we notice that he is unsettled by the fact that the struggle for opinions has moved into the realm of never-ending reader comments which radicalize internet users into two opposing camps, just as many other viewers and “epistemologists” are unsettled by the fact that the truth is constructed from leaked information and from the comments under the main article. - Edith Jeřábková