Four questions about asemic writing, #01: Rosaire Appel

From now, at SCRIPTjr: a series of interviews, to ask several artists their opinion about four topics related to asemic writing. The first author is Rosaire Appel, here are her replies. 

1. Do you think the practice of asemic writing is something different from visual poetry? Or a part of it?

Asemic writing is a much broader category/ practice with a wider range of possible outcomes – visual poetry is confined to, well, visual poetry. Asemic writing need not have anything to do with poetry. The term poetry suggests a work with some kind of cohesive independence. Asemic writing is a tool, an implement, an instance – not a form or style – it can appear anywhere on its own or in conjunction.

2. Asemic texts appeared often here and there over the course of the 20th century. Then, at the very beginning of the 21st, it seemed that a consistent part of artists/writers, all over the world, started focusing on it. It isn't the occasional appearance of asemics in a wider context of art, but it seems now a specific practice or current. Do you agree?

Yes, it does seem like that. Perhaps this is because through the internet we instantaneously become aware of things around the globe. Asemic writing seems to be spreading like pollen and all kinds of things are sprouting up because of it. It not only occupies the gap between verbal and visual, it can also bridge it.

3. Some authors think it can be said that something like an actual asemic “movement” is rapidly (or slowly?) growing. Do you think so? Or do you think there’s simply a wide constellation of different individuals, far from being defined a movement?

Perhaps there’s a movement afoot, a popularizing of asemics, a proliferation of asemic instances and products. There’s a lot of energy here and this is the beauty of it: at the moment it is alive, active and still growing. This moment will pass, of course.

4. Anthologies, exhibits and web pages collect very different kinds of asemic works. Some of them resemble scribbles and calligraphy, so they fit the definition of “writing”. Others do not, since they include recognizable letters and symbols, or abstract art. Do you think asemics can include these areas or not?

What to include/ exclude, what should the rules be. This will be gradually thrashed out and the thinking that goes into the thrashing is an important part of asemics. Practicing asemic writing and contemplating it is a way to step outside of traditional languages in order to see first hand how traditional languages actually function.

thanks to Rosaire Appel ||

you'll read all the other authors' answers at


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