Kerri Pullo in Living Color (Vispo Birthday Part II)

Asemics by Kerri Pullo (Tucson, Arizona, USA)

 

This second installment of the Asemic Front Kerri Pullo birthday celebration focuses on the colorful pieces that were included in the recent package.

 

 

Signature on the reverse side:

 

 

Detail study:

 

 

Asemics by Kerri Pullo (Arizona, USA) (2017)

 

 

And the packaging:

 

 

Classic Kerri Pullo stamps:

 

 

 

Asemic Writing & Visual Poetry by Brent Nathan Bechtel (South Carolina, USA)

“A foreboding sort of scribble” by Brent Nathan Bechtel (2014)

 

Brent Nathan Bechtel is a gifted and prolific visual poet and artist whose range extends to asemic writing. I would guess many Asemic Front visitors are familiar with his work already, although I am thrilled if you are discovering him for the first time here. He was featured at MinXus-Lynxus and Brent Nathan Bechtel’s compositions are – perhaps – even more relevant to the Asemic Front project.

Brent kindly granted permission for me to sift through his photo folders to compile this selection of his work. I had intended to spotlight recent work but found pieces from 2014 that are so significant to Asemic Front that I have included a sampling.

The range of Brent Nathan Bechtel’s work is astonishing and could easily fill at least one hefty volume (books that is). He uses many approaches to visual-textual composition with alacrity. To focus, I have selected pieces that have elements of asemic calligraphy and that are – for the most part – recent. Other avenues of his work should be explored, so I hope Brent Nathan Bechtel will be a consistent contributor to the Asemic Front project.

DVS

“Asemic piece” by Brent Nathan Bechtel (2014)

 

“Trade-off Manifesto” (2014)

How can I omit a piece with a Trahpo vibe and a Diane Keys aesthetic?

 

“And I waited forever” (2017)

 

“Text chop burlesque” by Brent Nathan Bechtel (2017)

 

“Untitled” (2017)

 

“Unbranded Consumable Item” by Brent Nathan Bechtel (2017)

 

“Drawn under my eyes” (2017)

 

“Stairway” by Brent Nathan Bechtel (2017)

 

 

“The Rebecca Type-overs” – Rebecca Resinski & De Villo Sloan Collabs

“Rebecca Type-over #1” by Rebecca Resinski (Arkansas, USA) and De Villo Sloan (New York, USA)

 

I was inspired by Rebecca Resinski’s artist’s book of type-overs using text by the Bronte sisters. So I have had a tremendous time, in turn, typing over Rebecca’s Resinki’s compositions. Much of this was typed on an electric typewriter (Brother ML100 Standard). Thus you have typewriter art by both Rebecca and me. The discerning will recognize, of course, that I used digital filtering on some pieces to heighten typewriter effects and to produce some deconstructive asemics.

DVS

“Rebecca Type-over #2”

“Rebecca Type-over #3”

“Rebecca Type-over #4” by Rebecca Resinski and De Villo Sloan

“Rebecca Type-over #5”

“Rebecca Type-over #6”

“Rebecca Type-over #7”

“Rebecca Type-over #8” by Rebecca Resinki & De Villo Sloan

 

“Sisters: Three Palimpsests” – An Artist’s Book by Rebecca Resinski (Conway, Arkansas, USA)

“Sisters: Three Palimpsests” by Rebecca Resinski (Arkansas, USA)

Rebecca Resinski – artist and Eternal Networker known for visual poetry as well – sent this unique artist’s book that is perfect for Asemic Front.

I recently made inquiries about people doing concrete poetry and typewriter art; maybe she heard. Rebecca and I have corresponded and I admire her work, but she is not a veteran of earlier campaigns like so many here on Asemic Front. I need to keep in better touch with her. And of course Asemic Front is open to new people who have not participated in earlier calls.

Rebecca has produced a compelling type-over concrete poetry in this book using literary sources. The process has resulted in the creation of asemic symbols as well.

DVS

“Sisters” is printed on a very sturdy, semi-transparent material that deepens the type-over effects and gives the piece wonderful textures.

From Sisters by Rebecca Resinski (2017)

 

Asemic Front Review: “Too Much To Bear” by Robin Tomens (Timglaset – Sweden)

Cover of Too Much To Bear by Robin Tomens (London, UK)

 

I believe Robin Tomens is among a group of poets and artists working today who are placing British visual poetry in the vanguard of global visual poetry. I am thrilled to have an edition of Tomens’ Too Much To Bear as part of the Asemic Front effort.

Too Much To Bear is a beautifully produced collection of 24 compositions that have depth and resonance. They are not quickly disposable (then discard) visual-verbal gimmicks nor are they the motel-room-abstract-paintings which asemic-vispo is listing towards. These are pieces you will return to again and again, each time finding more.

Because Tomens’ work emphasizes the materiality of images and language, the printed book format is especially illuminating and effective. Too Much To Bear shows the power that art can achieve beyond the limitations (yes limitations!) of the digital realm. In short, and not trying to sound too Fluxus, you can best experience Too Much To Bear by being in its physical presence and touching it.

Too Much To Bear is published by Timglaset: A Swedish/English endeavor that, humbly, refers to itself as a “fanzine.” (Timglaset appears to be much more than a fanzine.) My research indicates Timglaset is the creation of Joakim Norling in Sweden. Norling deserves applause on several fronts including his choice of poets/artists and his unique distribution system that involves the international mail art network:

About Timglaset

In reviews, I often navigate a narrow line between trying to – visually – give a sense of what a book is like and – going too far – inadvertently publishing a digital edition. So I will provide some shots of personally favorite pages from Too Much To Bear. Keep in mind the collection contains much more.

“Status Symbol” by Robin Tomens from Too Much To Bear

The methods of collage are now firmly available to the visual poet without contest. In the case of Robin Tomens, I do not believe genre analysis alone yields insights. He is an excellent collage artist and some would leave it there; however, I believe his great strength is as a visual poet adept at the use of language. This is how we can best understand and appreciate him.

Tomens’ compositions explore – even relentlessly at times – the shifting and complex relationships between image and text. He explores the process of signification and the processes of both creating and obliterating meaning, which is of central interest to asemic writers. “Status Symbol” provides a perfect example for my contentions. The piece exhibits Tomens’ use of the Punk (anti-aesthetic) – probably generational symptom – which serves as a deconstructive filter. Perhaps Joakim Norling’s “fanzine” concept has a greater aesthetic depth than at first appears. “Status Symbol” has a street art quality as well.

Thus I believe Robin Tomens is at his best in pieces that combine image and text. Some Tomens pieces do (see above) rely on the prominence of image and visual syntax and are successful. But, in fact, what I like best about contemporary British visual poetry (if I may generalize) is that it uses visual-verbal constructs that draw from concrete poetry, text collage and that are – then – “postavant” – suggesting connection to a tradition. (Rarely do I have much praise for tradition!)

Many visual poets have abandoned text altogether in favor of image constructs. Some of this work is extraordinary and groundbreaking, but I find more energy and interest in visual-textual work. The British visual poets currently working whom I have encountered are well-grounded in concrete poetry and the cut-up work of Brion Gysin and William S. Burroughs. (Clearly Burroughs made a BIG impact during his London years that still resonates.) I hope this explains my enthusiasm for the work of Robin Tomens and British visual poetry. This “tradition” bodes well for a British visual poetry of the future.

“It’s You” by Robin Tomens in Too Much to Bear (Timglaset)

In closing, I want to identify another source that I believes inspires Robin Tomens’ work. That is his knowledge of jazz:

https://www.amazon.com/Points-Departure-Essays-Modern-Jazz/dp/1900152797

As a longtime student of postmodernism (pomo), I am very aware of the important impact jazz has had on Modernism and – more important – American Postmodernism of the second half of the 20th century. The work of the Beats, Black Mountain, and much of the New York School, for example, is derived from a “jazz poetics” grounded in spontaneity, improvisations, quoting and fragmentation. Charles Olson’s historic and influential “Projective Verse” is essentially a handbook of jazz poetics. With this “tradition” comes – philosophically – the huge, rugged and bleak continent of Existentialism. That is likely where we should look to locate Tomens in terms of a worldview. It’s easy to forget about the centrality of jazz in current art, lit and music.

While Robin Tomens’ nods to Punk and street art make his work engaging and provide a textured aesthetic, I believe it his jazz sensibility that accounts for the brilliance of the pieces in Too Much To Bear (and elsewhere). In other words, Tomens brings jazz poetics to vispo. Hoping not to make a comparison too grandiose, the Abstract Expressionist painters (Pollock) brought a jazz sensibility to painting which was revolutionary in the West. I have always expressed disdain for “middle of the road.” Yet in the case of Robin Tomens I make an exception or at least a qualification. Visual poets capable of innovation (rather than regurgitating the achievements of the past) but who are also aware of and drawing from tradition (such as concrete poetry and the cut-up) are in an advantageous position to produce work of note and value. Robin Tomens opens new ground and continues the enterprise. It will be interesting to see where he takes us next.

– DVS

“American Face” by Robin Tomens in Too Much To Bear

 

New Asemic Collab by Nancy Bell Scott & De Villo Sloan

Asemic collab by Nancy Bell Scott (Maine, USA) & De Villo Sloan (NY, USA)

 

A great honor to have worked with Nancy Bell Scott on this piece for Asemic Front. Here are some detail studies:

By Nancy Bell Scott & De Villo Sloan (2017)