Two Asemic Canvases by Anneke Baeten (Sydney, Australia)


Asemics by Anneke Baeten (Sydney, Australia)


Anneke Baeten is well-known in the current, burgeoning asemic art community. Like many other asemicists, she is utilizing the postal system as well as the international mail art network (which has embraced asemics). Anneke Baeten sent these two beautiful canvas pieces especially for Asemic Front. It is a thrill indeed to include her work in the project.

Anneke Baeten’s work is very advanced and true to the asemic concept. While it is aesthetically pleasing, she has unquestionably constructed an asemic language (possibly several) with non-referential symbols, syntax and larger textual structures. The generation of her asemics is rooted in the calligraphy tradition, even though it’s natural to identify her as a painter, or at least painterly. She generates lush, imaginative worlds of meta-language.





Asemic Front Collabs by Dorina Harangus (Germany) & De Villo Sloan (USA)

Asemic Front collab by Dorina Harangus (Germany) & De Villo Sloan (USA)



Asemic Front collab by Dorina Harangus (Germany) & De Villo Sloan (USA)


More Quipi Asemics

Quipi-inspired asemics by De Villo Sloan


Work by Dorina Harangus in the previous blog along with my discussion of Quipi Asemics (aka Talking Knots, aka String Asemics) based on the Inca system attracted so much interest that I will add this addendum: Some of my own asemic work with strings and knots. I hope this might inspire some readers to experiment with Quipi Asemics or perhaps you have already produced similar work. I would be interested in seeing work in this area. Feel free to contact me.










Quipi (Talking Knot) Asemics by Dorina Harangus (Hechingen, Germany)

Asemics by Dorina Harangus (Hechingen, Germany)


I admire art by Dorina Harangus precisely because it is so indeterminate and open to interpretation, so I leave open the possibility that you might find things in this work that have no relation to asemics. That is very likely. At the same time, I want to explain why this ingenious work is so relevant to Asemic Front.



This new work by Dorina Harangus is a “found” plastic bag containing pieces of wood and paper shreds. I find the piece to be textually oriented on several levels: from the appearance of actual words to the use of material related to writing and printing as well as the concept of linearity. Here is the contents:



Specifically, and this is certainly a subjective response, the piece strikes me as being modeled upon Quipi: the language of knots used by the Inca. This piece by Dorina Harangus has knots. More important, though, it suggests a language composed of strings (the sturdy paper is string-like). Quipi uses strings extensively.

I know other asemic writers who are fascinated by this ancient Inca writing and have composed asemic pieces with string, knots and sometimes colours. The Dorina Harangus piece suggests the possibilities of this kind of work.








Asemics and Codification: “Code 58” by Litsa Spathi (Breda, Netherlands)

Litsa Spathi - 6.30.2017 - 3

“Code 58” by Litsa Spathi (Breda, Netherlands)


Asemic writers and artists who venture beyond initial explorations of calligraphy and solitary symbol creation soon encounter the process of codification in asemics (in a linguistic sense) and how it can be applied to this unique form of expression that seeks to elude conventional meaning. Codification, for example, involves – as well as basic symbol creation – relationships of symbols to each other, the construction of systems, arbitration between meaning and the meaningless as well as other related issues.

A segment of asemic writers – in fact – are fascinated with and specialize in the creation of asemic codes. The late Belgian visual poet and critic Guido Vermeulen was one such asemic codifier. Vermeulen convinced me that the creation of asemic codes is possible and can be fruitful; however, the approach is somewhat different than the construction of conventional codes. (A code is not necessarily inherently asemic, but it is possible to construct asemic codes.)

My purpose here – I believe you will be relieved – is not to discourse further upon asemic codification. I have done that elsewhere and will probably return to it in the future. (And the assertions I have made certainly deserve further explanation.)

The topic of this post is far more rewarding: I am very happy to share an interesting work by the visual poet Litsa Spathi. She is a perennial favorite poet of mine.

“Code 58” deals brilliantly with the related issues of codification, gender, meaning and the meaningless. You will not find – as far as I can see – asemic writing but rather a play of conventional symbols and shapes. Some maintain recognizable signification. Others have been disconnected from context (“Defamiliarized”) and are rendered meaningless (or indeterminate). This is certainly another mode for creating asemics. But please do not be burdened by theory. Do your own explorations of codes if you are so inclined and take my ponderings, as they say, with a grain of salt.

Enjoy the work of Litsa Spathi.



Collabs by Allan Bealy (Brooklyn, New York, USA) and De Villo Sloan (Auburn, New York, USA)

Collab by Allan Bealy and De Villo Sloan (New York, USA)


I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to do these Asemic Front collabs with the extraordinary collage artist Allan Bealy. As a personal note I want to include that among numerous other accomplishments, Allan Bealy edited Benzene, an influential arts/literary zine in the 1980s. Benzene had a huge impact on me that shaped my views on poetry and visual poetry to the current moment. So based on Benzene, as well as subsequent work, I knew – going into the project – that Allan Bealy has a tremendous understanding of visual-textual composition. While clearly biased, I am very pleased with the results. I am glad Asemic Front provided a forum where we could focus on language in a very specific way. It has been a great opportunity to work with Allan Bealy.



By Allan Bealy and De Villo Sloan





By Allan Bealy and De Villo Sloan