“Cover for an as yet unnamed asemiac book” by David Chirot (Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA”
Asemic Front expands its depth and breadth today with these three asemic pieces by poet, writer and visual poet David Chirot.
AF visitors are likely to be already familiar with the legendary Chirot (also known as David Baptiste-Chirot). I am of the opinion – shared with many others – that he transformed visual poetry in the late 20th century (at a time when it was languishing) and is now a key figure in the post-literature of the 21st century. I am thrilled at long last to be able to provide a platform for his work.
While a master of the image (visual syntax), Chirot’s work has long contained what is now called asemic symbols and texts. In fact, he was among the early asemic pioneers – Jim Leftwich and Tim Gaze come to mind also – who anticipated that asemics and image-oriented visual poetry would merge to become a genre (or subgenre). As a result, Chirot has developed an original and distinctive asemic (anti-)language that, paradoxically, is deeply expressive.
“Striker rubBEing” by David Baptiste-Chirot
However, despite the fact that he is also a literary theorist of consequence, Chirot has not engaged in the often angry debates about asemic writing that have been so divisive in the international visual poetry community. So I want to make sure AF readers do not assume Chirot is taking positions here when, in fact, I am featuring his work on Asemic Front due to its importance and what I see in it. He has kindly allowed for the presentation of pieces that are fundamentally asemically “purist.”
Indeed, Chirot’s wordplay that I have kept intact – “asemiac” and “asemniac” (amnesiac) – shows a playful or even satirical view of the ever-so-serious subject of asemic writing. While – beyond a doubt – he has an intellectual understanding of the asemic enterprise, Chirot’s iconic “RubBEings” are simply a natural medium for the generation of asemic symbols, syntax and forms. His artistic process produces distortions and deconstructions of the language he finds in his environment and which provides much of his subject matter. I believe asemic conceptualism is simply inherent and thus natural in his work.
“Asemniac rubBEing” by David Chirot
“Asemniac rubBEing” by David Chirot (remix by DVS)