One of the program members, Akil Ahamat, is a multimedia artist. His works employ visual and audio cues to tell nonlinear stories and bring the viewer into a space that can elicit a physiological response. In his studies, he came across ASMR and developed an interest in its form and effects. “It’s essentially a self-administered therapy device that people are drawn to on the internet,” he says, “it’s a physiological phenomenon like deep bodily tingles from particular kind of sounds.” Akil explains that the subject of ASMR is “sound that has an alignment with intimacy, sounds that are in the periphery of being heard.” The result is a series of works called sonic showers.
Tucked into the corner of the threshold to Paramount House Hotel, beside the elevator pink velvet curtains are drawn open to reveal Akil’s A World that Breathes Out of, Surry Hills. The work offers a private and sensory experience housed in a public space. A World that Breathes Out immerses you in a downpour of sound and invites you into a moment of speculative therapeutic technology. As you experience the piece, the exhale is one of emotional and physiological decompression.
The shower of sound is the relief, engaging with it is the same as understanding it. This release pairs and contrasts with its sense of place of the hotel. Akil says, “doing the show at the hotel is really appealing to me. I think it’s the perfect place to have this technology, this therapeutic device. A big part of it is understanding those experiences of intimacy but in a public space.”
A series of artworks from Parramatta Artists’ Studio will take up residence in Paramount Coffee Project and Paramount House Hotel for the duration of Art Month Sydney. Featuring alongside Akil’s work will be Tully Arnot’s piece, Sanctuary, a cluster of mechanical butterflies inhabiting the double-height entry windows of the lobby. Sofiyah Ruqayah’s Devotion will feature in an exclusive hotel room for guests to enjoy. Lillian Colgan’s Girl Introjected, an amalgamation of materials was suspended from the rafters of the adjacent Paramount Coffee Project to coincide with a ticketed evening workshop.
The PHH lobby will house these works for the duration of Art Month Sydney and will remain open 24 hours a day for hotel guests, Art Month Sydney patrons and locals to enjoy. Each artwork displayed is also for sale and can become the latest addition to your collection through the Shop section of Art Collector magazine.