Asemic Numerology by Nancy Bell Scott (Maine, USA)

NBS - 2.22.2018 - 1 can you hear me now1“Can you hear me now?” by Nancy Bell Scott (Maine, USA)


I’ve been completely intrigued by this new piece by Nancy Bell Scott, and I am excited to share it on Asemic Front. The work applies the concept of – what I call – Deconstructive Asemics to numerals. I find the results breathtaking. Numbers are given colour and are transformed into an expressive symbolism that reveals more deeply their mysterious powers. Concrete poetry seldom uses numbers. Thus neither do asemics rooted in concrete poetry. When I look at the this work and think of the possibilities I find myself asking: Why?



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Found Asemics by Richard Canard (Illinois, USA)

Richard - 2.19.2018 - 11“Asemic Trashpo” by Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA). Image courtesy of Nancy Bell Scott


An original member of Ray Johnson’s New York Correspondance School (NYCS), Richard Canard is one of the most recognized and important mail artists working today. I doubt anyone in the network would dispute my contention.

Like most NYCS members, Richard Canard has roots in the avant garde associated with Neo-DaDa, Fluxus and Pop Art, among others. Richard C makes frequent forays into visual poetry, erasure, object poetry and other related visual-textual forms. He increasingly produces asemic work. The results are always interesting, and I’m very glad to share this piece he sent to Asemic Front contributor Nancy Bell Scott in Maine, USA.

Nancy Bell Scott reports Richard calls the piece “asemic-trashpo.” It is made of some kind of decomposing material he “found in the street after rain.” (We find the Gutai aesthetic here.) I also believe asemicists will concur this is a prime example of found asemics. The term “object poem” might also be a useful descriptive. Asemic Front definitely encourages found material and “eco-asemics.”

Deepest thanks to Richard Canard and to Nancy Bell Scott for bringing this work to my attention.



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With aPologies to Vispo by Alicia Starr Ryan (Iowa, USA)

Alicia 2.19.2018 - 1Asemic mail art by Alicia Starr Ryan (Iowa City, Iowa, USA)


Alicia Starr Ryan is a very talented visual artist as well as a friend and supporter of the Eternal Network. She is  associated with network visual poetry and asemic writing efforts of recent years. I am pleased to be able to share her work on Asemic Front.

For all the emphasis on theory and method, asemic writers – luckily – are excellent humorists too. They often turn that sparkling wit to satire and parody of the “asemic condition.” This work amounts to a subgenre of great interest and fun. (In fact, David Stafford of New Mexico, USA is making a career of asemic parody.) Most important – I believe – is the gentle reminder we should never take ourselves too seriously!



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A very attractive package!


Alicia - 2.19.2018 - 5a1Asemic visual poetry by Alicia Starr Ryan (Iowa City, Iowa, USA)


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Image-Text Collaboration by Thierry Tillier & Luc Fierens (Belgium)

Fierens Tillier collabVisual-textual collaboration by Thierry Tillier and Luc Fierens (Belgium) (2004)


I am very pleased to be able to share this rare collaborative piece. Thierry Tillier and Luc Fierens are important figures in European visual poetry. Their work is of great relevance to the Asemic Front project because they have done explorations into the process of signification and have made discoveries pertaining to the nature of the sign. Those who are combining visual poetry and asemic texts can gain much from this piece as well as other individual works by Tillier and Fierens.

In addition to the visual poetry aspect, this piece has asemic elements. (Most vispo of the “masters” contains asemics even if not consciously intended.) Innovative variations of W.S. Burroughs’ cut-up technique are present as well. Both artists are adept at radical image juxtapositions that create “visual syntax.”

Many thanks to Luc Fierens for granting permission to present this work on Asemic Front.



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Asemic Visual Poetry Collabs by Rebecca Guyver (UK) & De Villo Sloan (USA) (Part II)

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Asemic visual poetry collaboration by Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK) and De Villo Sloan (New York, USA) (2017-18)


I am thrilled to have been able to complete three Asemic Front collabs with Rebecca Guyver in the UK. She added textures, colors and depth that give my foundations resonance I had not thought possible. To me, the completed pieces reference medieval illustrated manuscripts and/or William Blake’s illustrations. I am sure they will spark other associations as well.

I was curious how she achieved these spectacular effects. Rebecca Guyver responded, “They are simply scanned and painted on. I think I might have stamped on one or two with stamps I made using buttons. It’s layered and crumpled when wet, unfolded, painted on again, etc. then dried and sewn on. No plastic, unless you see some on it that I sewed on. If I did I would have glued it first. I can never remember work when I’m done…”

Rebecca Guyver is a wonderful Eternal Network participant. I have enjoyed being part of many projects with her. Asemic Front might well be our best shared effort thus far. Many thanks.



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Collab foundation by De Villo Sloan for Rebecca Guyver



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Asemic visual poetry collaboration by Rebecca Guyver (Suffolk, UK) and De Villo Sloan (New York, USA) (2017-18)



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Collab foundation by De Villo Sloan for Rebecca Guyver



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New Asemic Front Collab Starters by De Villo Sloan (Auburn, New York, USA)

2.4.2018 - 15a excellent

Asemic Front collab starter by De Villo Sloan (New York, USA)


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Asemic Front collab starter by De Villo Sloan (Auburn, New York, USA)


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By De Villo Sloan


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Asemic Front collab starter by De Villo Sloan



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Asemic-Concrete Text Hybrids by Federico Federici (Berlin, Germany)

Federico - 2.4.2018 - 1By Federico Federici (Berlin, Germany) (2018)


Asemic writing and visual poetry are inherently connected, and the relationship is symbiotic. Thus it is not at all surprising that typewriter-generated concrete poetry (ironically considered by some to be obsolete) is re-emerging in new forms and with considerable vitality in the asemic writing movement.

Federico Federici is one of the master practitioners of this interesting sub-genre. (He is also contributing to my long-held theory of Neo-Concretism.) That contemporary asemic writers and artists should benefit from the triumphs of the “Golden Age” of concrete poetry is, after all, an indication of healthy cultural evolution: a balance of tradition and the iconoclastic.

Here is a detail study from the initial piece:


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Working in the context of concrete poetry, Federico Federici uses type-overs (as well as some calligraphy) to generate asemic symbols and structures. I believe this is one of the most promising possibilities for the use of concrete poetry in the asemic realm: The generation of symbols and structures.

Federici also interjects words – mostly nouns – to allow for some degree of “reading” and association. A nature theme emerges: “TREE,” “weed,” “wood,” “leaf,” “deer,” “stone,” etc.  The work can be read, but not strictly in a conventional sense. For instance, traditional syntax is lacking yet the sign-system is intact for individual words. Poetically, the work presents a severely fractured pastoral lyric that is neither highly Romanticized nor parodied.

The typewritten structure suggests linearity; however, I believe the piece requires a “depth-of-field” reading. (Both asemics and vispo require new kinds of reading.) One is directed to look into and through the dense layering (not across).

Federici’s asemic-concrete composition implies, I believe, that a “text” is a dense field of accumulated meanings. Meanings can be distorted, obscured or disrupted by others. Emotional response competes with rationality. Linear (conventional) reading is misreading and misleading. True understanding of the text involves seeing into its depth and layers of possibility. The play of these layers of meaning, in turn, creates new meanings.

Federici’s work, indeed, uses a randomness principle. The precise geometry of concrete poetry obscures the randomness and creates a deconstructive tension in the work.

The asemic text demands a new kind of “reading” and finding meaning. Federico Federici’s work helps open new possibilities.


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By Federico Federici


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A last detail study:


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