Two Asemic Ca(na)rds by Richard C (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

Richard - 2.26.2016 - 1

Mail art by IUOMA member Richard Canard (Carbondale, Illinois, USA)

February 26, 2016 - Based on comments he posted in the IUOMA asemic writing group, I had assumed Richard Canard joined a few other vispo luminaries (Pete Spence of Australia being the most vocal) and made an exodus from asemic writing (which despite the protests seems to be growing in popularity). This small but impressive group of vispo stalwarts claims the asemic concept is misunderstood and misapplied. What is being done in the name of asemics is either visual poetry or abstract art, according to the naysayers. I saw, or at least thought I saw, Richard beating a hasty treat from the Asemic Front as well, but I’m not sure of the chronology.

So I was  surprised to receive (relatively recent and relatively serious) work invoking asemics from Richard Canard that has reached the top of the blogging pile. I like the first piece (above) especially. Richard Canard has explored the “overlay” method of asemic writing that I believe is derived in part from overlay effects found in early concrete poetry. The overlaying – in critical theory terms – produces textual distortion and purposely makes meaningful text “incomprehensible.” Some contend new symbols are created as well. Moments of clarity might emerge, but they eventually meld back into the asemic realm. The overlay technique also produces an aesthetic similar to what can be seen in abstract expressionist painting.

This is a method favored by the Jim Leftwich wing of asemics, and evidence is mounting that Jim Leftwich and Tim Gaze are largely responsible for the current wave, although Jim Leftwich seems intent upon dissociating himself from it. As much as I am sympathetic to his position, I doubt he can reverse the tide now.

Richard - 2.26.2016 - 2

And more:

Richard - 2.26.2016 - 3

The reverse:

Richard - 2.26.2016 - 4

As ever, thanks to Richard Canard!

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Comment by De Villo Sloan on February 27, 2016 at 5:43pm

A ringing endorsement from Toni Hanner (Birthday Girl): "Richard is a genius..."

I agree it's a wonderful piece with incredible depth. As Thom C points out also, I spy some emoticons in there too. Just when you think Richard is serious, you discover the joke is on you.

The purple is a hit.

Comment by Toni Hanner -- tonipoet on February 27, 2016 at 2:32am
I could look at the Purple (1st) one all day. Is it, it is If I say so. Is it? Richard is a genius and he knows exactly the right spot to put the needle.
Comment by De Villo Sloan on February 27, 2016 at 2:07am

Great to hear from you, Thom.

The Titanic of Asemics has sprung some leaks (to not so much mix as cross metaphors). Whether Richard C is headed for the lifeboats or has one foot on deck and the other on the dock is not clear.

In one of the discussions we determined another name for asemics could be "bad handwriting."

Comment by Thom Courcelle on February 26, 2016 at 10:52pm

I believe I see a "smily face" in that first top photo. Not only has Richard turned to asemics, but he's taken to using emojis, too??!

I actually like (appreciate) how Richard has crossed a boundary—maybe walked along a fence-top?— by contemplating less-than decipherable hand-writing as a respectable genre of vispo. Others have "created" languages or alphabets (as I've observed over the years on this site… though I defer to your greater and broader historical knowledge DV). This variant would place millions of indecipherable doctors' prescription sheets within the realm of acemics art, non?

Also, the purple highlights in the same piece totally do it for me...

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