Saturday, January 9, 2010

Asemic Writing: Literary or Visual Art?

Recently there's been a bit of talk about asemic writing. What is it?
Asemic writing has been made by poets, writers, painters, calligraphers, children, and scribblers, all around the world. Most people make asemic writing at some time, possibly when testing a new pen.
So is it scribbling or doodling? Not when it's created intentionally - as art - instead of functionally, as when testing a new pen. If, instead of doodling images, we doodle mock-words or even word-like representations, are we practicing asemic writing?

Educators talk about children going through distinct stages of "mock letters", "pseudowriting" and so on, when they're learning to write. Many of us made asemic writing before we were able to write words.
When does asemic writing become art? When a writer creates it? Or when a visual artist like Paul Klee or Mark Tobey creates it?

Looking at asemic writing does something to us. Some examples have pictograms or ideograms, which suggest a meaning through their shape. Others take us for a ride along their curves. We like some, we dislike others.
Clearly we derive meaning from asemic writing. But do we read it the way we read poetry or prose? Or is it mis-named? Should it instead be called "asemic art"?

1 comment:

rappel said...

asemic writing is an open form, elastic, inclusive - simultaneously literary AND visual.