Digital decomposition from Times New Roman by Ficus strangulensis. He notes the piece could be the beginning of an “asemic alphabet.”
Digital decomposition from Snipple font by Ficus Strangulensis.
One prevalent strain in current asemic text creation involves the decomposition of existing texts and alphabets. Written language is rendered “incomprehensible” to create asemic constructs that are unreadable in terms of the conventional process of reading.
The asemic construct is not necessarily devoid of meaning, but the communication process does not occur in the same way as the conventional process that signification creates meaning in reading. As asemics provide revelations about the nature of language, one contradiction emerges in relation to the concept of asemic unreadability: Asemic constructs are a metaphor for written language; asemics are meta-language because they can only talk about language but ultimately are not language.
The ghost of language may emerge and disappear in the asemic text, and these explorations by Ficus strangulensis stand on this borderland. Indeed, they locate precisely the asemic duality of standing on the borderline between meaning and incoherence. They capture alphabetic symbols evolving into some other kind of discourse. They suggest the roots of visual texts we rarely consider.
Methods utilized in deconstructive asemics include distortion, disruption, various chance operations and/or automatism, among others. Deconstructive asemics and its methods can be viewed as a destructive dismantling of the written word, a metaphor for the decline of the Age of Print and the notion of “literature.” Certainly the work of some asemic writers and artists suggests violence and a revolutionary spirit that might well represent obliteration of previous modes of discourse. However, the work of many others suggests both the interrogation of language already mentioned and the discovery of a new form of visual expression we do not yet fully grasp. These pieces by Ficus strangulensis suggest that quest.