ASEMICS 16 GREATEST HITS (Vol. 2): Rosa Gravino (Argentina), Svenja Wahl (Germany), Theresa Williams (USA)

Center section of chapter for Asemics 16 (Edition #5) collaborative book by IUOMA member Rosa Gravino (Rosario, Argentina)

December 30, 2011 - As 2011 draws to a conclusion, my review of the monumental Asemics 16 collaborative mail-art book project continues to focus on what I believe are many extraordinary contributions to Edition #5. 

Even before it arrived in my mailbox, I saw images of Rosa Gravino's chapter appearing on blogs internationally. Apparently I am not alone in admiring her accomplishment. Asemics 16 inspired many artists to combine visual poetry and asemic writing. Rosa Gravino's chapter is a tremendous example of a synthesis. The colors are a delight as well as the ingenious melding of asemics, shapes, and textures - into, dare I say, a kind of skywriting? Here is another two-page spread from Rosa Gravino's chapter:

Rosa sent a message explaining her approach. She wrote: "In [Asemics 16 - 5] I have explored the idea of signs that are accumulated forming a thick matter, condensations, clouds, the sky, a window, the space,  architectural structures .... [architecture] architext; it has been a tour, a flight, I have been a pilot..." Indeed, she has touched upon a central question that has preoccupied many poets and artists: Can we ever experience the world directly or is our experience always filtered through language and its structures?

Rosa took the organic approach, which I have discussed in earlier blogs. I respond to the freedom and fluidity it expresses; this also allows exploration of the "Asemic Syntax" theme of the volume. At some point, I intend to write about the relation I see in the automatic writing experiments of the surrealists and asemic writing. Rosa Gravino's work is an excellent example. I believe it is very worthwhile to take time and examine the associative train of word fragments and images that drive her cursive asemics in this chapter. Like many mail-artists, Rosa took great care with the packaging and included some interesting material:

Rosa Gravino has been a friend more than a year now. I treasure all the work I have received from her. From time to time, she will - as they say about baseball - hit one right out of the park. That's how I feel about her Asemics #5. Vispo in Latin America is popping. Rosa's blog is a good way to learn more:

Svenja Wahl deserves an asemic medal or something...

Transparency from Svenja Wahl's chapter for Asemics 16 - Edition #5 (Heidelberg, Germany)

We already established that some of the brave troopers who contributed multiple chapters to the Asemics 16 project did suffer a kind of combat fatigue toward the end. We will long take pride in and enjoy the results, but everything did get bigger and more complicated than anyone originally anticipated. Have I missed the blogs? Did anyone notice Svenja Wahl's AMAZING chapter in Edition #5? I discovered it myself just recently. I think this deserves documentation.

The sliced "SYNTAX" title is one of the most effective uses of this approach I have seen so far.

Correct any errors in my interpretation, please: Svenja invented literature for the "Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium for Asemic Studies." This is a wonderful concept that is beautifully executed. I am not completely sure this wasn't real. While the scan is far from adequate, I also draw your attention to the beautiful asemic script she invented. It appears to have been printed, although Svenja can be such an exacting artist I assume she wrote it herself. Here are more pages from the chapter:

Many IUOMA friends recognize Svenja Wahl as a brilliant collage artist, and she has an eye and talent for finding the most interesting material, which is reflected in her chapter. She uses images that establish a tone and advance a narrative, in this case providing an interesting counterpoint to the asemics. Asemics 16 produced an extraordinary amount of theoretical discussion. Svenja's chapter is reflection of the mind-boggling aspects of asemics if you beginning intellectualizing, or intellectualizing too much. Svenja included other great mail-art material along with her chapter, including her distinctive collage work on the envelopes. She leaves nothing to chance; things are assembled with great care, even the minimally decorated envelope that contained the chapter:

The reverse side of the envelope also has some great Svenja Wahl collage work:

Mail-art by IUOMA member Svenja Wahl (Heidelberg, Germany)

Beautiful juxtaposed image collage work that I believe is so characteristic of the masters working in Belgium and Germany. Changing the subject slightly: You will note that the man on the right has letters on his smock saying: "DK ger." I compelled to feel Svenja's hurt and anger. 

This is a reference to "D-Kougar" or "DK-dagger." I am soon to lodge yet another protest with Diane Keys (DK) and KDJ of the D-KULT for their effort to enroll Svenja, a respected artist, in a completely vulgar performance piece supposedly being staged to benefit animal rights.  In truth, and I have seen documentation, the D-KULT was seeking substantial corporate sponsorship for performance art that could not possibly be staged. In the process, unfortunately, Svenja's pristine reputation was sullied on the official DK blog: in my estimation, a snake pit of innuendo and degeneracy. Anyway, I have digressed seriously. Many, many thanks to Svenja for this wonderful contribution to the Asemics 16 project.

Theresa Williams invents metasemics?

Theresa Williams' chapter pages from Asemics 16 - Edition #5 (Bowling Green, Ohio, USA)

Theresa Williams' fascinating contribution to Edition #5 is a language-centered piece that combines text fragments, asemics, and handwriting into a collage that can be read from multiple perspectives.

Theresa interweaves many themes into the piece. What I find most resonant is a meditation on writing: in this case, the physical experience of writing. Self-reflective writing is an important part of postmodernism; however, I do not believe very much work focuses on physicality and materiality the way Theresa's does. For me, it's a remarkable accomplishment and a very interesting work. So here are the rest of the pages, scanned so you can see multiple page spreads:

Note the instructions at the top and also at the right about how to hold a pen. I think Theresa found a shorthand book - excellent material to use with asemic writing.

These little handwritten pieces are wonderful!

More of the shorthand material is included on these pages. You can also see examples of Theresa Williams' asemic writing. I deeply appreciate this wonderful chapter she did for Asemics 16! Theresa Williams has a great blog that focuses on correspondence:

As ever, many thanks to the artist who participated in Asemics 16.


In a minkubator, of course

Dr. Minkenstein

Pretend you are interested.

Typewriter keys

38, 92, 3, 78, 4

Ray wants to know who has the Spam Radio

Looks like mustard to me too.

Svenja Wahl


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Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 1, 2012 at 9:08am

See what people are driven to over a used pair of fishnets, Dw? "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."

Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 1, 2012 at 9:02am

Kold, man. she be a kold blooded Gangster of the Heart. She kapped ol' Stubbs & didnt never look back.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 1, 2012 at 8:47am

You know, Dk. This is where I worry about you. It's not about klauses in a D-Kontract. Mr. Stubbs sold his entire collection of DKULT memorabilia to pay for his rehab. They were the things he valued most because they were the only connection he had left to you and your time together, which he never can equal again in his pathetic life.

Mr. Stubbs, like a fool, believed there was something real between the two of you, whatever it was. He is a case of a broken heart, which can't be measured by statistics or changed by new production standards. It's a sad, sad story. I suppose we should just live and learn from a true, romantic tragedy of someone who loved to much and someone who loved too little.

But then, perhaps it is better to have loved and to have lost than never to have loved at all.

Comment by DKeys on January 1, 2012 at 5:20am

I feel reasonably sure that KDJ has put the Do Not Operate DKoder Ring While Playing Competitive Twister clause in the new,  more comprehensive Operators manual. DKult has offered to send Mr. Stubbs to a clinic in China that  uses stem cells to regenerate limbs, but he declined. Turns out he makes so much from begging and gaining pity due to his disability, that he no longer needs to work at the petting zoo to pay for his gambling debts. 

Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 1, 2012 at 4:46am

This is the sad story of the fate of DK's former associate Mr. Stubbs. Due to the defective rings you've heard so much about, he lost his hind legs.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 1, 2012 at 4:43am

Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 1, 2012 at 4:41am

After 8 months of extensive rehabilitation in an exclusive Mexican clinic - aided and supported by his dear friend Ramone - Mr. Stubbs has learned to walk on his remaining two legs. It is an inspirational story. But will he really ever be the same again?

Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 1, 2012 at 12:33am

DK prefers the kleverbutt. Ward Cleaver. Beaver. I like Edie Haskell. June Cleaver. Alice Cooper

Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 1, 2012 at 12:28am


Comment by De Villo Sloan on January 1, 2012 at 12:25am

What doll foot? And who's d-konfused?

Diane, I Don't Know when your party starts but a bit later I am going to post some exKlusive pictures of Stubbs that will explain where he's been & what he's been doing. It's really sad & some of it's graphic, but people need to know the truth. And he's not in prison. You're going to feel really bad when you see this.

BTW - Dw was kontacted about some d-kollectibles, which he did not buy because he has ethics. But just a bit of friendly info - don't let Heath near your dirty laundry basket.

Now Dw and I have to start the warhammer tournament.



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