The Joy of Watching Old, Damaged Things Get Restored: Why the World is Captivated by Restoration Videos


The Joy of Watching Old, Damaged Things Get Restored: Why the World is Captivated by Restoration Videos

The internet has given us a few new ways to watch things, but many more new things to watch. It's not just that we now tune in to our favorite shows online rather than on television, but that our "favorite shows" have assumed forms we couldn't have imagined before. Thirty years ago, if you'd gone to a TV network and pitched a program consisting of nothing but the process of antique restoration — no music, no narration, no story, and certainly no stars — you'd have been told nobody wanted to watch that. In 2020, we know the truth: not only do people want to watch that, but quite a lot of people want to watch that, as evidenced by the enormous view counts of Youtube restoration videos.

The Joy of Watching Old, Damaged Things Get Restored: Why the World is Captivated by Restoration Videos

At Vice, Mike Dozier profiles the Swiss Youtube restoration channel My Mechanics. Its "videos don’t just appeal to people interested in antique restoration, which they surely do, but many viewers watch because they find the process relaxing."

Some come for the techniques and stay for the "hypnotic quality — the sounds of clinking metal, the grinding of sandpaper and the whirring of a lathe populate each video. And watching something, like a rusty old coffee grinder, come back to life, shiny and looking brand-new, is uniquely satisfying." This verges on the newly carved-out territory of "autonomous sensory meridian response," or ASMR, a genre of video engineered specifically to deliver psychologically pleasing sounds.

The Joy of Watching Old, Damaged Things Get Restored: Why the World is Captivated by Restoration Videos

In Korea, where I live, ASMR has attained disproportionately massive popularity — though not quite the popularity of mukbang, the style of long-form eating-on-camera video that has gone international in recent years. One theory of the appeal of mukbang holds that it offers vicarious satisfaction to viewers who are dieting, broke, or otherwise unable to consume enormous meals themselves. That may also be true, to a degree, of restoration videos. To bring a 19th-century screwdriver, say, or a World War II military watch back to like-new condition requires not just the right equipment but formidable amounts of knowledge and dexterity as well. Clicking on a Youtube video asks of us much less in the way of time and dedication. And yet, among the billions of views restoration videos have racked up, there are surely fans who have acted on the inspiration and built old-school skills of their own.

The Joy of Watching Old, Damaged Things Get Restored: Why the World is Captivated by Restoration Videos

In our increasingly digital age — characterized by nothing more acutely than our tendency to spend hours clicking through increasingly specialized Youtube videos — skilled physical work has become an impressive spectacle in itself. As everywhere on the internet, subgenres have produced sub-subgenres: take the vintage toy restoration channel Rescue & Restore or art restorer Julian Baumgartner (who produces both narrated and ASMR version of his videos), both previously featured here on Open Culture. If those don't absorb you, have a look at Cool Again RestorationIron Man Restoration, Hand Tool Rescue, MrRescue (a model-car specialist), Restoration and Metal, Random Hands... and the list goes on, given how much needs restoring in this world.

The Joy of Watching Old, Damaged Things Get Restored: Why the World is Captivated by Restoration Videos

via metafilter

Related Content:

Watch Battered & Bruised Vintage Toys Get Mesmerizingly Restored to Near Mint Condition

Watch an Art Conservator Bring Classic Paintings Back to Life in Intriguingly Narrated Videos

How an Art Conservator Completely Restores a Damaged Painting: A Short, Meditative Documentary

Watch a 17th-Century Portrait Magically Get Restored to Its Brilliant Original Colors

The Art of Restoring a 400-Year-Old Painting: A Five-Minute Primer

The Art of Restoring Classic Films: Criterion Shows You How It Refreshed Two Hitchcock Movies

Based in Seoul, Colin Marshall writes and broadcasts on cities, language, and culture. His projects include the book The Stateless City: a Walk through 21st-Century Los Angeles and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall, on Facebook, or on Instagram.

The Joy of Watching Old, Damaged Things Get Restored: Why the World is Captivated by Restoration Videos is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.


Tags: Google, Facebook, Design, College, History, Korea, Asmr, Seoul, Facebook Twitter, Colin Marshall, 21st Century Los Angeles, Julian Baumgartner, Restoration Videos, Mike Dozier

Source:  http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenCulture/~3/jGI9Yxr8n0k/the-joy-of-watching-old-damaged-things-get-restored.html



Related:
April 22, 2020 at 6:11 PM 6 ways homebuyers’ must-haves could change after the pandemic
April 1, 2020 at 4:31 PM 4 relics of a past pandemic are right in your house
January 16, 2020 at 10:15 AM Preserving the Scents of Everyday Life
December 17, 2019 at 6:06 AM Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century
March 21, 2019 at 8:30 AM Reconsidering the period room as a museum-made object