Asemic emerges from the unknown and enters into the unknown, the prelinguistic,
post-linguistic, the generative, the open.
I am thinking about the invention of a vocabulary to fit asemic.
I am thinking about an embodied material poetics.
I am thinking about glyphs and glitches. I am thinking about glyphs and glitches. I am thinking about glyphs and glitches.
Varieties of mark-marking and touchings
I am thinking about the language of octopuses
about fluid tentacular communication
or the language of sound waves
I am thinking about concentric circles as complex forms of writing, the meaning of which has been lost, but the recognition of it as such which remains.
When I was formulating this piece, I followed a path formed by three quotes. The first by Charles Bernstein in Close Listening:
“Perhaps the first writing was not produced by humans but rather recognized by humans. That is, it’s possible that the human inscriptions on the petroglyphs frame or acknowledge the glyphs already present on the rock face. Then we might speak of the book of nature, which we read as we read geologic markers or the rings around a tree” .
Asemic can be created when there is a need for wordless language
For practiced illegibility – an illegibility that is read. Why does everything need to be so legible all the time?
“It is wonderful how a handwriting which is illegible can be read, oh yes it can” Gertrude Stein .
Asemic poetry provides a necessary freedom from definition. It gestures.
Is it AU DELA DE. Beyond representation, beyond signification.
Asemic embodies expression and signification, not divided between the symbolic and the semiotic, between written language and image, speech and writing.
The journey of asemic writing is multifarious and plural. It signals return, as much as it does presence, and future vision.
Ella Skilbeck-Porter is a writer, poet and artist living in Naarm/Melbourne. She is a PhD candidate in French Studies at the University of Melbourne and is currently working on her first collection of poetry These are Different Waters, which was shortlisted for the 2021 Helen Anne Bell Poetry Bequest. Her work has appeared in journals such as Cordite, Rabbit, Going Down Swinging and Otoliths and can be found online at ellaskilbeckporter.com
About the work
Towards an Asemic Space by Ella Skilbeck-Porter is an experimental piece merging word, image and sound that gestures towards and comments on the wordless and conceptual space of asemic art and writing. Many of the drawings were created on Yuin Country and inspired by the Shoalhaven River, trees, and natural landscape at Bundanon.
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