Talk:Asemic writing

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Everything's Eventual?[edit]

Why is Everything's Eventual linked to from Asemic writing? -- 03:44, 30 May 2007 (UTC)


There are 17,200 google results.[1] Some reliable sources are:

The Rustle of Language - Google Books Result by Roland Barthes - 1989 - Language Arts & Disciplines ... finds no textual contour; the code is simply interrupted: an asemic word is created, a pure signifier; for example, instead of writing "officer," I ...[2]

Dissemination - Google Books Result by Jacques Derrida - 2004 - Philosophy ... the complication according to which the supplementary mark of the blank (the asemic spacing) applies itself to the set of white things (the full semic ...[3]

Derrida and Religion: Other Testaments - Google Books Result by Yvonne Sherwood, Kevin Hart - 2005 - Religion - 424 pages ... a purely physical text from which all trace of meaning (the logos) has been removed, in which no meaning could ever appear — an asemic text. ...[4]

Joseph G. Kronick - Philosophy as Autobiography: The Confessions ...As an excess that belongs to any semic entity, the fold folds back, creasing the blank or virgin sheet, to use Mallarmé's metaphors for asemic presence. ...[5] (The Johns Hopkins University Press in collaboration with The Milton S. Eisenhower Library)

The Philosophical Imaginary - Google Books Result by Michele Le Doeuff - 2002 - Philosophy - 335 pages Conversely, the polysemic—asemic trait which we have been observing betrays the fact that the text is not directly receivable in its intended univocity. ...[6]

Premises: Essays on Philosophy and Literature from Kant to Celan - Google Books Result by Werner Hamacher - 1999 - Philosophy - 408 pages ... of the asemic, ...[7]

Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other Arts - Google Books Result by Daniel Albright - 2000 - Philosophy - 410 pages A gestus always struggles to retain its efficacy, its pointedness, its incision, against a general asemic blur, a confusion that tends to swallow up all ...[8]

asemic calligraphy, apparently WSB's - William S. Burroughs papers, Ohio State University.[9]

JSTOR: Sartre et la mise en signe... verbal acrobatics which superficially characterize the best of our modern poetry (witness Maurice Roche's playful 'asemic stereog- raphy,' for example).[10]

There is a relevant text from the Newsletter of the Library, School of Art, Media and Design, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK: Over from Argentina, Mirtha Dermisache will be showing a selection of works published since the beginning of the seventies, (see dbqp visualising poetics, - Mirtha Dermisache and asemic writing) and an installation in bookartbookshop that combines a publishing process (printing, edition and sale) with a conceptual intervention. The first of these interventions took place in Buenos Aires in 2004, the second in Paris. We are extremely honoured to be the third context for her work.[11] The blog it references is by Geof Huth.[12]

Ty 07:14, 7 March 2008 (UTC)


<math>This article begs for some illustrations!</math> —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kdammers (talkcontribs)

That was a wonderful comment, and I agree. I will have to think about scanning in some of my notepads. Andre (talk) 12:24, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Lorem Ipsum[edit]

Just a thought, might not a brief note on the use of Lorem Ipsum for design purposes be noted here? It seems that this is at least sometimes used as in an asemic sense. Obviously, design using Lorem Ipsum may be demonstrating more than just text formatting, but the point of Lorem Ipsum is to disconnect the verbal meanings of the text, to demonstrate the visual aspects of the text without distraction. Not certain it's appropriate, but it immediately sprang to mind when I read this page. --DragoonWraith (talk) 07:23, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Interesting angle, but OR, unless there is a secondary source. New posts go at the bottom of talk pages, by the way. Ty 07:51, 8 April 2008 (UTC)


"Asemic" is just the antonym of semic "pertaining to a sign". The existence of the adjective doesn't establish the existence, or notability, of an art form called "asemic writing". --dab (𒁳) 12:10, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

It doesn't have to be an "art form", merely an acknowledged technique, as with Impasto in painting, for example. See refs above. Ty 15:47, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Voynich Manuscript[edit]

There had been a mere see also for the Voynich Manuscript, the article for which indicates it may be as-yet undeciphered writing, or actually devoid of linguistic content. The latter would seem to make it relevant here, but this is being disputed [13]. Thoughts? Шизомби (talk) 17:13, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

There are many linguistic features of the voynich Manuscript that suggest it could possibly be saying something... I believe it is still a little to early to be classifying it as Asemic, There are quite a few claims at full or partial decipherment.. none accepted mind you. I personly, have been studying it for about 6 years now and do believe it has meaning. (talk) 21:23, 11 May 2009 (UTC)

I think that there is the possibility that the Voynich Manuscript could be a proto-asemic text, and that is why I feel it should be included on the asemic writing page. ( (talk) 22:12, 13 May 2009 (UTC))

But just because something "could be" doesn't mean it is. only reason it should be included is if it is Most likely and that, it is not. It's neither most likely semic or asemic it's... Either/or. And without just reason it should remain simply "undeciphered". (talk) 00:10, 15 May 2009 (UTC)
The mere presence of a "see also" is not saying it is. Anyhow, information in articles does not have to be exclusively about what is. As for the probability of what it is or isn't, maybe the sources in the VM article have more credibility than an anonymous IP editor and his personal six years of research. Шизомби (talk) 02:13, 15 May 2009

External Links Not Spam[edit]

I don't see these links as spam.( (talk) 02:13, 19 September 2009 (UTC))(UTC)

I did look at them, and yes, they are inappropriate external links. WP:ELNO. These are sites that seek to promote themselves. Notice at the top of that article, the overall purpose of external links, "Such pages could contain further research that is accurate and on-topic, information that could not be added to the article". Of the material on those pages that is encyclopedic, I didn't see anything offhand that couldn't be added to the Wikipedia article, directly.
Also naming Dermisache as "one of the most well known" without a reference supporting it is WP:PEACOCK. Piano non troppo (talk) 02:58, 19 September 2009 (UTC)

I guess you have to be coca-cola to get away with "promotion" on wikipedia. ( (talk) 04:20, 19 September 2009 (UTC))

You're referring to the Coca-cola article? It's there because the company is considered notable according to the rules that apply to businesses. The rules that apply to other topics differ. The one for people is WP:BIO. Piano non troppo (talk) 13:34, 20 September 2009 (UTC)


here's a slab quoted from a recent email from Jim Leftwich(he was explaining himself to an artist named Billy Bob Beamer):

"30 years ago i was writing syllabics as a way of creating rhythmic patters unlike traditional metric verse, and trying to lose the influence of eliot, breton and berryman.

sometime in the mid-90s, probably 97, a visual poet named john byrum sent me a postcard in response to a series of poems i had sent him. the poems were letteral variations of poems by John M. Bennett. in a ps at the bottom of the card byrum wrote something like "if you continue in this vein you will soon be writing asemic poems". that was the first time i saw the word "asemic". tim gaze contacted me around the same time. i was thinking about purely textual asemia. tim was thinking about a more calligraphic form of writing. my textual work was already letteral, and my visual work was breaking the letter-forms down and becoming a poetry of quasi- or sub- letteral marks. i started making quasi-calligraphic works and sending them around to poetry magazines - and calling them asemic. tim was doing something very similar. that was the beginning of what is now being called "the asemic movement". i promoted the practice (and the word itself) very energetically for several years (8 - 10 years or so). tim has been even more energetic and ambitious, and is still going strong. there is a long and complex history preceding all of this, of course, but this is how the current "movement" got underway. tim can tell you much more about the history of the term itself. i don't know when it was first used to describe the kind of work it is currently used to describe". (talk) 03:40, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Mirtha Dermisache[edit]

Art Monthly, May, 2006 by Stephen Bury

Mirtha Dermisache, Libro No 2-1968, Published for the bookartbookshop, London, by Manglar & Le Clou dans Le Fer, Buenos Aires, 2006, [29] pp, illus, pb, edition of 400 copies, 10.00 [pounds sterling], 2 9517224 9 4.

A recent installation of her publications at London's bookartbookshop is Mirtha Dermisache's second exhibition in London--she took part in the Camden Arts Centre presentation of the Centro de Arte y Comunicacion as long ago as 1971. Dermisache has been working since the early 70s in a broadly conceptual vein. But, beyond that, it is very difficult to categorise her work: it is definitely not book art (which makes the bookartbookshop venue somewhat of an odd one) and she is not particularly engaged in exploring the main characteristic of the book format, the sequence of pages or, for that matter, the poster with its insistent vertical. Comparisons with the graffito of Cy Twombly's grandiloquent paintings and drawings have been made but seem, frankly, inappropriate--although, interestingly, her poster in Pitfield Street has seemed remarkably resistant to graffiti despite its offer of inviting white spaces. If all art is either metaphoric or metonymic, as Roman Jakobson argued in his study of two types of aphasic disturbance, Dermisache would seem to prefer the horizontal chain of contiguity and metonymy to the vertical associations of metaphor, of prose rather than poetry. And other comparisons seem equally tenuous--the scrawled numbers of Hanne Darboven's diaries, although they have a similar relationship to time, lack the free-form calligraphic excesses of Dermisache. The blanked out lines of Marcel Broodthaers' 1969 version of Mallarme's Un coup de des jamais n'abolira le hasard have some resemblances with the newspaper columns of some of her Nueve Newsletters, 2004, but, looking at a work such as Reportaje from this same series, Broodthaers' project seems distant: there has been no effacement of anything pre-existing and no need for the reader to reconstruct. These works have an aesthetic of their own.

They have sometimes been described as asemic, avoiding or resisting meaning. This is an obvious truism but does not take us very far. Children or adults with learning difficulties have often imitated the effects of writing, but what is unique about Dermisache is not just her self-evident knowledge of writing but her refusal to make her texts, if that is the correct term, mean something: she does not even seem to need to have to avoid coincidental references to real words. They have no fear of being deciphered, and they cannot be. A distinguishing feature is her use of white space around the text: here is no insider art horror vacui at the empty page: calligraphic columns or paragraphs of text sit happily in their white space and would seem to obey typographical laws and the directional thrust of the western alphabet, left to right and from top to bottom. The semantic unit is at the level of the page or the publication, not the paragraph, sentence, word or letter.

Libro No 2-1968 was printed in Buenos Aires and published by Manglar Editions for the bookartbookshop. A 10cm wide wrapper with the details of the publication and imprint is folded around the blank cover: the text on the cover is on the inside, as if in a desire to conceal (it's certainly not a good marketing strategy). Its dimensions are 28x20cm with 20 leaves containing 29 pages of image. There are obviously no page numbers. With the wrapper removed, is it uncertain which way up the book should be? Amazingly, the book and the 'letterforms' insist on there being only one way up. We are so familiar with the book format that its beginnings and endings are expected and assumed to have some sort of shape and be in a similar position, irrespective of our being able to read the text or not. Black calligraphic lines waver in intensity, sometimes darkly congested, knotted, doubled or perhaps cancelled, at other times a fine line becomes almost a drawing medium as if to illustrate the non-existent text, whereas in reality the dichotomy of text and image is annulled as one is the other in a calligram of itself. There are thick and thin would-be block capitals of what might be a font. There is a temptation to read loudness or quietness, emotional intensity or relaxation.

A book demands (these days at least) a quiet, one-to-one relationship between author and reader. Libro No 2-1968 is capable of operating in such an environment, but I suspect that Dermisache prefers to think of a more public act of reading--a photograph of her installation 'Escrituras [:] Multiples' at El Borde in Buenos Aires shows ten very basically constructed desks, accompanied by a single chair. On each desk is a pile of copies from ten of her works. You could take away the copies. They are meant to be read (if they can be read). Mirtha Dermisache is not making precious artworks to be bartered, traded and displayed in the gallery system. However, it does remain to be seen whether they can actually escape that fate. (talk) 20:45, 7 November 2009 (UTC)


How is William Carlos Williams related to asemic writing?

Tim Gaze quote from Asemic Movement 2[edit]

The word “asemic” was taught to me by a poet & publisher from the USA named Jim Leftwich, in 1998. He’d earlier heard it from another US poet & publisher, John Byrum. Soon after I learned this word, I began to publish Asemic magazine, for asemic writing & related artforms from around the world. Asemic has grown from a folded A3 sheet to a 100 page book. Many people are familiar with the word “semantics”. This word can be taken at least two ways: the study of meanings; the study of meanings in words. I use the word “asemic” in the sense of “having no worded meaning”. Most often, I use it in the term “asemic writing”. Asemic writing is something which appears to be writing, but which the person looking at it can’t read. The works in this exhibition can be described as asemic writing.

Some terms which include translations of “asemic” exist in other languages. Italian: scrittura asemantica (used by Gillo Dorfles in 1975) French: stéréographie asémique (used by Maurice Roche in 1975) Danish: asemisk kalligrafi (used by Karen Wagner in 2004) Portuguese: escrita assêmica (used by Victor Paes in 2006) Spanish: poeta asemico (used by Carlos M Luis in 2007) Turkish: asemik yazın (used by Suzan Sarı [or Sarý] in 2007) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

recently published translations of the term "asemic writing": écriture asémique in Toth 1 (Orléans, France, 2008;, translator: Damien Dion. асемическое письмо in СЛОВА 6 (Smolensk, Russia, 2009;, translator: Глеб Коломиец /Gleb Kolomiets. aszemikus írás (Hungarian) in Kalligram, 2010 Március (Bratislava, Slovakia;, translator: Koppány Márton/Márton Koppány. (talk) 04:13, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Steaming pile, unecyclopaedic[edit]

The references are little more than a collective circle jerk of the same, meaningless idea. This article should be nominated for speedy deletion. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:17, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

Interesting that you think it should be deleted rather than improved. As one who has written (positively) about asemic work in an attempt to find out what its aesthetic value is, I would like references and quotations from people concerned with that, or whatever other value it has. I'm not familiar enough with Wikipedia to know how they treat branches of poetry but it seems to me this entry should have examples of asemic "writing" with some indication not only of what it's doing but what the value of what it's doing is. --Bob Grumman Bxb Grxmmxn (talk) 17:07, 16 March 2013 (UTC) Sorry, I didn't see the many examples of asemic writing on display.Bxb Grxmmxn (talk) 16:57, 16 March 2013 (UTC) I still think think some discussion of the asemic writing samples discussing its value is necessary. Like what its value as a "universal language" is. What is it universally communicating that's worth communicating? (And I think it IS communicating something of value.) It's possible I'd even say why here, but what I said would not be peer-reviewed, and just a citationless opinion, unless I cited myself.Bxb Grxmmxn (talk) 17:07, 16 March 2013 (UTC)

There's almost nothing encyclopedic here[edit]

I find one reliable source in the entire thing, and all it's good for is instancing a single usage of what appears to be a neologism. It's ALL WP:OR linked to blogs of no particular standing. If we delete everything except that, the article really goes away. (talk) 21:59, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

There's a single WP:RS suggesting the term actually exists; otherwise, the article looks like an attempt to legitimize a term that's not widely accepted. I actually think there's an idea here, but the people behind this need to write a proper book, get it accepted by a proper press, and then write the article here. (talk) 22:16, 15 February 2014 (UTC)

Way to go censorship!!! You should ditch the whole article while you are at it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:38, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Well, when I cut out all the stuff that was uncited or unencyclopedic, it came very near to ditching the whole thing (and was botflagged as vandalism; I didn't feel like hassling with it). But I think the article as it stands exists to authenticate a neologism, and should be either deleted or substantiated, if possible with encyclopedic sources. None of which falls under any reasonable notion of censorship. I'm waiting for others to weigh in. (talk) 17:59, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
It's not a neologism. Read the talk page and you will see that. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:04, 5 March 2014 (UTC)
(Took the liberty of indenting your comment.) Just supply the citations that show the term is in current use, or was established in the past. I preserved ne that shows it was actually used, in a WP:RS once, but without more, there's no way to show it's other than nonce usage, i.e., a neologism (but everything's a neologism at some point, right?) If you need help with the format, plenty of people stand ready to help, including me. (talk) 00:27, 14 March 2014 (UTC)

An Anthology of Asemic Handwriting[edit]

An Anthology of Asemic Handwriting is the first book-length publication to collect the work of a community of writers on the edges of illegibility. Asemic writing is a galaxy-sized style of writing, which is everywhere yet remains largely unknown. For human observers, asemic writing may appear as lightning from a storm, a crack in the sidewalk, or the tail of a comet. But despite these observations, asemic writing is not everything: it is just an essential component, a newborn supernova dropped from a calligrapher’s hand. Asemic writing is simultaneously communicating with the past and the future of writing, from the earliest undeciphered writing systems to the xenolinguistics of the stars; it follows a peregrination from the preliterate, beyond the verbal, finally ending in a postliterate condition in which visual language has superseded words. An Anthology of Asemic Handwriting is compiled and edited by Tim Gaze from Asemic magazine and Michael Jacobson from The New Post-Literate blog.

With contributions by: Reed Altemus, mIEKAL aND, Rosaire Appel, Francesco Aprile, Roy Arenella,Derek Beaulieu, Pat Bell, John M. Bennett, Francesca Biasetton, Volodymyr Bilyk, Tony Burhouse & Rob Glew, Nancy Burr, Riccardo Cavallo, Mauro Césari, Peter Ciccariello, Andrew Clark, Carlfriedrich Claus, Bob Cobbing, Patrick Collier, Robert Corydon, Jeff Crouch, Marilyn Dammann, Donna Maria Decreeft, Alessandro De Francesco, Monica Dengo, Mirtha Dermisache, Bill Dimichele, Christian Dotremont, Jean Dubuffet, Max Ernst, Mark Firth, Eckhard Gerdes, Mike Getsiv, Jean-Christophe Giacottino, Marco Giovenale, Meg Green, Brion Gysin, Jefferson Hansen, Huai Su, Geof Huth, Isidore Isou, Michael Jacobson, Satu Kaikkonen, Jukka-Pekka Kervinen, Rashid Koraishi, Irene Koronas, Edward Kulemin, Le Quoc Viet & Tran Trọng Duong, Jim Leftwich, Misha Magazinnik, Matt Margo, André Masson, Nuno de Matos, Willi Melnikov, Morita Shiryu, Sheila E. Murphy, Nguyen Duc Dung, Nguyen Quang Thang, Pham Van Tuan, François Poyet, Kerri Pullo, Lars Px, Marilyn R. Rosenberg, Roland Sabatier, Ekaterina Samigulina & Yuli Ilyshchanska, Alain Satié, Karen L. Schiff, Spencer Selby, Peggy Shearn, Ahmed Shibrain, Gary Shipley, Christopher Skinner, Hélène Smith, Lin Tarczynski, Morgan Taubert, Andrew Topel, Cecil Touchon, Louise Tournay, Tran Trọng Duong, Lawrence Upton, Sergio Uzal, Marc van Elburg, Nico Vassilakis, Glynda Velasco, Simon Vinkenoog, Vsevolod Vlaskine, Cornelis Vleeskens, Anthony Vodraska, Voynich Manuscript, Jim Wittenberg, Michael Yip, Logan K. Young, Yorda Yuan, Camille Zehenne, Zhang Xu, & others — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 18 February 2014 (UTC)

Well, is this from a recognized publisher of scholarly material, a university press? Even a standard commercial press? Are the contributors established and recognized academics, or are the articles reprinted from serious journals? Or is this simply an addition to the long list of blogs and self-publications of a very tight and self-referential circle? The Voynich MS does not become an example of asemic writing and thus validate the existence of the category because a blog repeats a blog. (talk) 18:02, 4 March 2014 (UTC)


I tagged things needing citation, deleted stuff that was linked to non-WP:RS, with some generosity -- what remains is very interreferential for a very small group that's blogging each other. If the concept has legs, it'll get wider notice. (talk) 18:34, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

The cleanup was reversed by an editor calling it vandalism; reverted again. If there are items to restore, they need to be properly cited, refer to verifiable encyclopedic sources. (talk) 20:26, 8 March 2014 (UTC)
The ongoing wholesale reversions are not in keeping with wikipedia practices. If you feel you're in the right, you should call for moderation. (talk) 01:52, 13 March 2014 (UTC)
Really, just work with the system, the way it's meant to. This talk page records deep and consistent reservations about the notability of the subject and the reliability of the sources. I'm tying to preserve what's worth preserving here, and you are not making it easy. (talk) 17:15, 13 March 2014 (UTC)

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