marco giovenale

on asemic & vispo

from a post by mg @, Aug., 2010


exploring the page I can see/say that the pieces by Lin Tarczynski seem to me asemic works, not “visual” nor “concrete” poetry, because I can’t recognize any known alphabetical sign in them, nor an even distorted or unintelligible sentence. that said, they “seem” alphabetical stuff, though. also, I think the border between asemic text and abstract art is thin, and if vispo often seems to be “mixed” with abstract stuff, asemic seems to “be” abstract art. this is because (in my opinion) at a first glance you can often tell the vispo from the abstract, while it’s more difficult to tell the asemic from the abstract. I may be wrong, but I think that when one recognizes symbols as aphabets, series of words, fragmented sentences, twisted letters, the brain starts putting all the letters and symbols etc on one side of its conscience. while if you don’t perfectly recognize letters, but you “suspect” they are, your brain works differently, and it seems like you are never completely sure if you’re staring at an unknown language or not (so that one can say there’s some sort of floating opinion/judgement about the nature of the object you’ve seen.) this also happens when one meets languages one doesn’t know; there’s a fascinating echo in Arabic calligraphy for example, we all made this experience. it’s a poor example, ok. but it seems to me I can say I’m looking at the Arabic calligraphic drawritings as if they were sort of asemic writing (while only an Arab could tell me “hey this is a piece of poetry” or “no, man, these are meaningless doodles, they only resemble words”.) our language determines our approach to the images: if we –even partially– recognize & decipher the language, we tend to “see [it is] text” (and/or vispo). if we don’t, we still suspect there’s some text (but we say it’s asemic –”to us”.)

now, going back to and considering the beautiful photos by RC Miller, I think that the first one is something standing on the border between asemic and abstract, but it’s not so simple for me to think it’s actually “vispo.” while the second piece is almost clearly vispo “and” asemic (in my perception of the image.) the third photo is more abstract than asemic, I must admit; and it’s hard for me to say it can be labelled as vispo. the fourth is enigmatic, since it seems something like a “pure ideological message” : I could translate this message as “I’m just deleting the *perspective* of the written language.” but it’s “my” translation. the artist’s intention may be different, I don’t know. by the way, since this photo is –to me– “ideological” (or “too clear in its message”,) I feel I’m a bit less involved into its “beauty” (if this be the right word.) is this piece asemic or vispo? it’s an asemic statement made by vispo means (blurred letters,) I suppose. now. I choose one piece from my little archive I take this one: (vispo/concrete.) it comes from a collab series I made with Jim Leftwich. I now work on the piece and (simply twisting & superimposing two or more versions of the same work) I make this rough one: (more abstract) and this strange one: (more asemic, maybe) ok then I take this one: (vispo.) It’s a collab with Peter Ganick. and I make this hyper-yellow one: (asemic) that’s what I wanted to say about asemic/vispo, for now: asemic & vispo come from the same family (sometimes they’re cousins, sometimes twins.)

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