[Grant Application] murmur, a Lens Protocol ASMR platform

Project name:

murmur is a token-gated ASMR platform, which experiments with social graph-driven token mechanics using Lens Protocol and Polygon to deliver creator fees and unique ASMR content.


ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, describes a tingling sensation in the scalp and spine, a physiological reaction to soft sounds like whispering, nail-tapping, and hair brushing. Over the past decade and a half, the ASMR phenomenon has found a home on YouTube, where amateur ASMRtists have uploaded millions of videos designed to trigger the tingling sensation.

However, YouTube grows increasingly restrictive in its content policies and less and less lucrative for creators. For example, YouTube now takes a 45% cut of advertiser revenue.

I’m applying for a small grant to develop a prototype of murmur, a web3 video platform targeted specifically at ASMR creators and using the Lens protocol to implement creator- and community-benefitting social-graph-driven token collecting dynamics (see attached document for more information). This experiment will imagine what a web3 platform for ASMR could look like and serve as a model to show ASMR creators how it is possible to make money and find an audience in web3.

I would like to continue to develop the project after the creation of the prototype, seeking more significant and potentially institutional funding.

Validation / Traction / Progress so far

I’m currently seeking funding to build out a prototype of the platform, and so beyond the additional information in the attached document, I don’t have an existing alpha to share. However, I have nearly ten years of experience working with experimental artistic ASMR content in exhibition, performance, and recording projects. My first NFT, a token-gated ASMR audio play on Ethereum, will launch in early 2023.

Claire Tolan will architect, build, and deploy murmur’s fully open-source prototype webapp.

Claire Tolan will create and produce the custom ASMR content dropped at murmur’s launch.

Camilla Steinum, artist and graphic designer, will design murmur’s visual identity.

Claire Tolan is an artist and software engineer. Tolan has served as a technical co-founder and CTO at distributed housing cooperative New Eelam, and as Co-CTO at Resonate, a community-owned, decentralised music-streaming platform. Since 2013, Tolan’s artistic practice has focused on ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Tolan is widely regarded as a pioneering artistic practitioner of ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. For five years, she hosted the first (and only) ASMR radio show, You’re Worth It on Berlin Community Radio (2014-2019), and her collaboration “Lonely at the Top” with Holly Herndon for the 2015 album Platform was the first explicitly ASMR track in contemporary music. Tolan has performed, exhibited, and presented her artistic work at venues across Europe, including Sónar+D, the Locarno Film Festival, the London Design Museum, and ArkDes (Stockholm). Her work has been profiled and reviewed in The Guardian, Wired, Art Forum, Paris Review, and others.

Since 2021, Tolan has shifted her focus from ASMR performance and exhibition to building technology platforms to experiment with different ways of delivering ASMR content and narrative works. In 2021, with an EU Horizon 2020 S+T+ARTS grant, Tolan built the first AI ASMRtist, SOOTHER – an engaging, calming voice companion. Tolan’s other technological ASMR experiments include the creation of an AR ASMR app in 2021 and an NFT-gated ASMR audio play, BAD BUTCHER, launching on Ethereum in 2023.

Camilla Steinum is an artist working across sculpture, textile, and graphic design. Steinum’s work takes inspiration from her ongoing investigation of spatial experiences and the construction of information and meanings, deliberating the reciprocal effects between objects and living bodies derive from the artist’s practice as a sculptor as well as her commitment to investigate questions such as: In what distinct ways are we, as humans, orienting ourselves within the world, shaping it and how is the world shaping us? How does the meaning we associate with objects influence our spatial experience and movement? Steinum has shown widely at galleries, museums, and art institutes throughout Europe.

Grant Amount Requested
10,000 USD

What it will be used for?

  • 7K: development of prototype
  • 2K: simple web design/visual identity
  • 1K: create initial ASMR videos for launch of prototype

Attach any additional documents/resources about the project if you have any.

More information here

How did you hear about MGD’s Funding program?

Via the Metacartel twitter