Received: Vispo-Asemic Mail-Art from Geof Huth (Schenectady, New York, USA)

Mail-art by IUOMA member Geof Huth (Schenectady, New York, USA)

December 8, 2010 - Visual poet Geof Huth has mailed a series of postcards bearing his distinctive work. I am thrilled to be the recipient of #10 of 17. I know for sure Karen Champlin (Chicago-area USA) has received another piece in the series. I'm watching to see where others turn up. The opening image is a detail pic focusing on the poem itself. Geof has so much experience and knowledge of vispo, I'm hesitant to write much more about it and, instead, simply enjoy the beauty and artistry of that flowing script. All the same...

I respond to it as cursive writing that melds into asemics. It is grounded in recognizable words, a traditional poem. The scrolling and twining shapes approach abstraction in places, almost seeming to obscure the letters or transform them into something else - but never completely. The result for me is a heightened awareness of the purely visual qualities of written language. And the vision conveyed is not of dissonance, disruption or incomprehensibility but of continuity, linearity, and coherence. Here is the entire side of the card upon which the poem appears:
Most people involved with visual poetry are familiar with Geof Huth's blog (link below). It's a virtual research library in the field (I use it that way), has numerous examples of interesting work, and thought-provoking posts. Ron Silliman's blog is a mecca for all interested in avant poetry. Geof's blog has a similar role in the vispo galaxy. One thing I always note on his blog is his absolutely blistering travel schedule. This mail-art series, that certainly has an on the road quality, must certainly be an adaptation to that schedule. Last summer Kiera Pannell (Canada) sent mail-art from numerous destinations as she traveled across Europe. It was an interesting concept, and the work seemed to me to work ultimately as a travel journal or narrative. Geof's series reminds me of that. Here's the front of his card. I had sent him best wishes for Thanksgiving, and this served as a response, definitely in the mail-art spirit:

That's a pretty cool image and perfect for the holiday season. If you're interested in vispo, here's a good tip:

Thank you for the mail-art, Geof


Your hairdresser appears to have been sniffing too much hairspray because she made the dough with too much yeast and it never rose. Don't be too proud to ask for help when he prints up fliers with your photo on them, inviting them to sign up for a date. The response to your hairdresser's impertinent question should be: "Tuna, it's a really tasty fish." Open a Moroccan restaurant to find me a menu has gotten out of hand. These duties will be your top priority. Lucky number: 4:33

Mail-art color of the day: red (TYIF)

Mail-art fashion consultant: Enhuthiast shirt

Views: 25


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Comment by De Villo Sloan on December 10, 2010 at 12:37pm

These comments really expand and clarify things I was trying to say about vispo and asemics - even when new questions are raised. I am going to take a lesson from Bifidus Jones: Stand back, listen, and learn. It's a testimony to Geof's work that these kinds of ideas can be raised.

Comment by Elaine B(atgirl) on December 9, 2010 at 11:54pm

Well the mere fact that word processing software provides myriad font options is an indication that not just artists, but possibly masses of office workers, etc and other regular folk, value " the purely visual quality of the written language" ...I think it plays a bigger part in the everyday world that maybe is taken for granted at times.

Comment by Marie Wintzer on December 9, 2010 at 11:50pm

I was thinking about that the other day. What is an actual and understandable writable language for someone might be asemic for someone else, e.g. Chinese, Persian etc for us.

Comment by De Villo Sloan on December 9, 2010 at 10:51pm
Hi Bifidus and Marie, we are definitely learning together. The quote you picked is the best effort I can offer. I know Bifidus is working to put related pursuits into words yourself. It just struck me that Geof has the artist's touch in the area of asemics and calligraphy - like a master painter's brushstroke. You can't help but be more aware of the potential for beauty in written language and symbols.
Comment by Marie Wintzer on December 9, 2010 at 10:14pm
I'm really fascinated by asemics. I think I'm going to work on it during my winter break.
You should really fire your psychic....
Comment by Bifidus Jones on December 9, 2010 at 4:14pm
I really appreciate this, De Villo. Vispo is still new to me and I absorb a little more each time it is presented here at IUOMA. Your comment, "The result for me is a heightened awareness of the purely visual qualities of written language" is the goal/achievement for both artist and viewer, yes? The link you provided seems vast and I look forward to delving into it.
Comment by De Villo Sloan on December 9, 2010 at 3:57pm
Thanks, Geof sent a nice piece. Forgot to include the link to Silliman
Comment by Bifidus Jones on December 9, 2010 at 2:58pm
great blog on great piece of mail art
Comment by Elaine B(atgirl) on December 9, 2010 at 1:15pm
I had no idea something so cool could come out of Schenectady.



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