Jenna Jauhiainen "Trigger-Happy" (2021)

about the artist

Trigger-Happy is an experimental and educational performance about the objective sameness and experiential difference of particular sounds. These are sounds that can both hurt and cause an almost euphoric sensation depending on the individual experiencing them.

The two primary points of reflection in this performance are selective sound sensitivity syndrome (also known as misophonia) and autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR). Misophonia is a condition in which particular sounds cause pain, anxiety and/or other forms of emotional distress. These triggers can in turn trigger a fight or flight response. On the other hand, ASMR is a pleasurable physical and/or emotional sensation triggered by particular sounds. The triggers both in Misophonia and ASMR can and often do include a visual component, potentially linking the two with synaesthesia.

The development and construction of Trigger-Happy has been inspired by a hypothesis suggested by Kerttu Raittila during private discussions about sound sensitivity; the idea that somehow the triggering of a disturbing emotional state by a particular sound could be turned into the triggering of the state of pleasure. Trigger-Happy is intended for anyone interested in the subjective experience of sound. The performance is structured around the sharing of personal experiences of triggering sounds and the current scientific understanding of phenomena surrounding sound sensitivity. The performance includes optional participatory elements, namely a relaxation exercise and the chewing of gum.

Trigger-Happy is performed for 1-3 individuals at a time based on a booked appointment. The performance lasts about 15 minutes, after which there is time reserved for discussion and reflection. Trigger-Happy can be performed in either Finnish or English. The gallery space is not wheelchair accessible. Upon request, Trigger-Happy can be performed remotely through a video call. The artist is hypersensitive to most fragrances and would appreciate a non-perfumed audience.

Link to protocol