Slow video for our times
December 22, 2020 9:49 AM   Subscribe

Meet Escapista, a collection of slow video for our times. My name is Cristiano, I'm a designer & developer who for a few years has been in love with the concept of Slow TV, but not doing much about it. Since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, I started gathering YouTube Channels specialized in this content and I was impressed with how there was so much more than I ever thought! So along with a friend, we started sketching ideas for a website to help popularize Slow TV and help all the quarantined people around the world feel better. Choose a channel and let your mind wander with the great Slow TV and ambient videos we handpicked for you. Relax with the natural images and sounds while you work, put on your TV or invite your friends to watch together.

From the Manifesto: This is a tribute to attention.

This is a collection of possibilities to let your mind wander. It is a garden of endless discoveries and pleasant surprises within the safeness of your own backyard.

This is an experience dearly curated by human beings. We swept the World Wide Web to collect only the best adventures. For each video selected, ten other videos weren't.

This is at the speed of life. And as in life, it doesn't come with buttons for pausing, fast-forwarding, or skipping. You make a decision regarding which channel to watch and then accept what the universe brings you. Just like in real life.

There are no readymade stories at Escapista, your mind is in charge of creating them instead. It is like a meditative immersion, a background for your life to happen.
posted by Bella Donna (14 comments total) 52 users marked this as a favorite
Apologies to wenestvedt for forgetting to credit them as the inspiration and source for this FPP. Thanks so much! Courtesy of you, I have been enjoying this snowy river very much today.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:16 AM on December 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'm a mod over at /r/slowtv and I wanted to again thank you for making this.
posted by Area Control at 11:33 AM on December 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

Oh, my people! I regularly have 8 hour Youtube videos on all the time and have a few favorites I repeat steadily and make playlists. Finally, I have found them!
posted by yueliang at 11:58 AM on December 22, 2020 [3 favorites]

Bella Donna, I am so glad I asked a question that other people wondered, too. The more, the merrier!

Isn't this a fantastic project??!?!
posted by wenestvedt at 1:52 PM on December 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

(Don't tell the kids, but I just got a small projector. I want to rig it up and stream this all damn day for the rest of Christmas vacation.)
posted by wenestvedt at 1:53 PM on December 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Oh this is just marvelous, thank you!
I listen to rain while I work, and watch drone footage of migrating caribou for entertainment these days. I have found my people.
posted by ezust at 3:00 PM on December 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

And of course, there’s always Nature Footage.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:24 PM on December 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Thank you, this is exactly what I needed.
posted by lazymuse at 5:34 PM on December 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

I work in politics and on Election Night, after our work was done and there was nothing left to do but wait for returns to come in, everyone else was compulsively refreshing fivethirtyeight and CNN. However, for my own mental health, I just watched a houseboat cruise down a canal in England and it was exactly the thing that I needed to quiet my nerves and let myself get some rest before doing post election followups. That same video was the first to come up when I clicked through the FPP and it made me remember how therapeutic this experience is.

For a year when even a casual two hour roadtrip to hike in a park was a non-trivial exercise, SlowTV and Window-Swap (previously) have been the experiences that I've turned to keep myself from going completely stir crazy.
posted by bl1nk at 6:02 PM on December 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

I'll also just add that one of the pitfalls of just searching for SlowTV on youtube is that a lot of those clips are ad suported. It's usually fine if you just need five minutes of zen, but it's self-defeating if you're settling in for a quiet evening, and the ASMR of a woodland river from the last fifteen minutes is suddenly interrupted by a car ad. I'm hoping that the curation of videos for this site takes care of such disruptions.
posted by bl1nk at 6:06 PM on December 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Okay I just spent an hour and a half walking around old Cairo.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 7:07 PM on December 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

bl1nk, what is ASMR? I know I could search for a definition but I may not be the only person wondering.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:37 AM on December 23, 2020

Rabbit hooooooole!
posted by wenestvedt at 3:14 AM on December 23, 2020

Oh yeah, good call, Bella Donna.

ASMR stands for "autonomous sensory meridian response" and encapsulates a sensation of light euphoria that can be triggered by certain auditory or visual stimuli. The triggers are very specific to the individual and usually take the form of some sort of soothing repetitive signal, like the sounds of someone quietly chopping food, or turning the pages of a book, or, for SlowTV overlap, the natural sound of birds by a trickling brook. It's a bit different from white noise or ambient soundscape since those tend to be about an even wash of sound that can put a soothing layer over your present environment, whereas ASMR emphasizes these quiet, frequent bits of stimuli to stimulate your neural response.

To be clear, though, I don't think my brain is wired to respond to this or at least I haven't discovered my personal trigger yet. I don't get the tingling or low grade euphoria from these videos, but I do find the textured soundscape relaxing all the same, so "Nature ASMR" or "Travel ASMR" are still useful keyword searches as a supplement to searching for "SlowTV"
posted by bl1nk at 7:00 AM on December 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

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