Four questions about asemic writing, #08: Johnny Mac

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

My sense is they revolve around the same centre. I am clear that there are a wide variety of expressions in this arena. Each and every image is different: the name of the group it is attached by those with a need to name things and is really of no concern. It smacks of factionalism and that does not work in this era.


  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?

There is a quickening, there is a freedom here and we need to keep it open to the experiments of the brave. Each and everyone has an authentic way of communicating. It is a celebration of ourselves.


  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?

By nature artists and writers push the boundaries. We are in process. We are in a grand experiment. I am clear these are early days and it looks more like a band of troubadours, than a concise movement at this point.


  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?

Who is to say, the arguments and debates will continue. That is the nature of human beings. It’s all a game to be played, whether they are included or not is of little matter. They exist, they are here, they excite, inspire, and open us wide to the possibility we are.

thanks to Johnny Mac

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