On Ausemic Writing: Anneke Baeten and Lucinda Sherlock (Women and Asemic Writing)

“Speechless” by Anneke Baeten (Sydney, Australia)

Ausemics: Just remember you saw it first on Asemic Front, just as you first saw FluxRus on MinXus-Lynxus many moons ago.

This blog exists to document a project, work made and exchanged by a small group of friends. So I’m not much concerned with numbers. However, I have seen two huge “ratings spikes” when work by Anneke Baeten and Lucinda Sherlock was posted. These numbers have some implications for the notion of nationalism as well as gender and culture.

I don’t like to put things in the context of popularity. We know in the arts that popularity does not mean much in the long run. However, who can deny that Anneke Baeten and Lucinda Sherlock are among the most admired asemic writers/artists working today? Furthermore, I personally believe they deserve it. They are both tremendously talented. I am thrilled to be able to showcase their work on Asemic Front.

The success of Anneke and Lucy points to the fact that Australia is a center of global, asemic activity. Asemic writing, in fact, was at least partially invented in Australia, going back to the legendary Tim Gaze. Now Australia continues as a mainstay of both asemic innovation and discipline. So I coin the term “Ausemic” in honor of Australia, Anneke, Lucinda and other equally talented figures.

From 10 Sonnets by Lucinda Sherlock (Perth, Australia)

No movement would be vibrant without an opposition. One of the loudest voices in opposition to asemics comes from Australia as well: Pete Spence. Pete Spence is a former poet and visual poet of some note. I say “former” because he now seems to devote his immense energy to vitriolic, rancorous, embarrassing and largely illogical attacks on unsuspecting asemic writers. His attacks are focused upon Australian women artists and then women in general. His greatest rhetorical tools are surprise and verbal brutality.

Seeing a poet evolve over time from freshness and diamond clarity to reactionary senility is a sorrow. Pete Spence is now the William Wordsworth of the post-avant. He is a testimony to the success of asemic writing.

Moving beyond Australia, I have seen similar ratings spikes in posts that featured Kerri Pullo (USA) and Diane Keys (USA) – Gerda Osteneck (Canada). I have to conclude, based on admittedly limited data, that our favorite asemic writers/artists are women. The leaders in asemics are women.

By Kerri Pullo (Arizona, USA)

To me, this is a phenomenon that should be noted. Visual poetry (vispo) has the potential to be a revolutionary force in the evolution of Western literature. However, it appears to have fallen at this stage into the old paradigm of the white elitist male enclave. Given the potential, vispo has not lived up to its promise. Asemic writing, so far, is emerging as a new gender model, which could have a cultural impact. I hope we all are able to stay tuned.

– De Villo Sloan


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