Four questions about asemic writing, #06: Satu Kaikkonen

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

I think that asemic writing as a writing is different from visual poetry if there are only elements of writing in the works, but I myself for example do also asemic poetry which include elements of both asemic writing and visual poetry. I give some examples of what I mean via my works:

a) The pink letter from the year 2009 is an asemic writing. In it there are now other elements than writing which is in the pink paper – but it's clearly and only writing. Altough it could be a poem written with asemic language as the same way than we write textual poems with our mothertongue, but I still think that it is not something that I call visualpoem.

b) The Dis Discussion from the year 2014
is a piece of asemic and visualpoetry. There are involved lettermarks, balloons and also the sofa, so it's not only something with writing but the asemic writing elements are part of the works, an important part. This kind of works I think is part of visual poetry or visual asemic poetry.


  1. 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?

I think that the asemic writing is a specific practice of art –  and why not – I think that it is something like what our early ancestors did when they left their handmarks in the caves and as I have said before it's something that reminds me of our common base of language, it's like a memory of Baabel ––from the time we all shared the same language.


  1. 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?

I think that the asemic "movement" has been growing lately, because there have been powerful individuals that have made it visible, like Tim Gaze and Michael Jacobson, but is it really a movement  – I think that there are people like Tim Gaze, Michael Jacobson, Marco Giovenale... who do this in a way that make us call it a movement, but there’s also a lot of people that are just doing it without any deeper connection to asemic writing's roots or any knowledge about asemic writing.


  1. 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?

I myself  think that asemic art can include other elements too and we can call these different kinds of works asemic art or asemic-visual poetry. We can also make "asemics" with recognizable letters or symbols if we can not tell anymore what we are reading, if we can not understand what has been written. For example this work of mine I call asemic writing although it has been made from letters and I can still see some letters in it, but I can not understand anymore it's meaning, the meaning of the words or sentences, and some of the letters have been connected each other and create new letters or marks that are totally new.

I think asemic writing is part of asemic art which is a very large area and can include different kind of areas. Asemic art is the main title and its parts are: asemic writing, asemic poetry, asemic-visualpoetry, asemic graffiti, asemic comics... and anything we can create when we are thinking "asemics".


thanks to Satu Kaikkonen ||

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