The first asemic writing show in Malta. Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing which often appears as abstract calligraphy, illegible writing , and/or as damaged verbal writing. It is a global post-literature with an unknown quantity of participants and public influence. Tim Gaze, the antipodal father of asemic writing, explains: “most people make asemic writing at some time, possibly when testing a new pen.” Asemic writing is a return to creative basics of points, lines, and textures. Its works run the full spectrum, from being written in the sand with a stick and documented by photography, to digital images using advanced computer software. What makes asemic writing different from abstract art is gestural constraint, not in the mathematical Oulipo sense, but in a free flowing linear consciousness and play of abstract expressionist calligraphy, digital computer effects, and various writing instruments. To get an abstract and nonspecific point across, asemic writing asks two questions: where does writing come from, and where is it going next?
This exhibition explores and seeks to answer these questions, with the 60+ artist/writers in this international exhibit. Lines on a page may or may not have meaning, the point is to find out when an asemic piece begins to breathe with signs of life; an asemic writer will instinctively know when this happens and will often rush to post it on the Internet. The Internet has fostered the growth of the asemic writing movement. It is now expanding like a brightly colored nebula. This show is a physical representation and snapshot of the asemic movement as it currently exists. All of the works in this show have been taken from the electronic environment of the Internet and made into prints for display on the gallery’s walls.
I am into my 7th year curating The New Post-Literate: A Gallery Of Asemic Writing. I have been fortunate to show the great works of hundreds of talented “drawriters” (a term coined by Marco Giovenale) many of whom are involved with this exhibit. But before there was The New Post-Literate, there was Tim Gaze’s essential Asemic Magazine. And before Asemic Magazine, there is the influence of accidental asemic writing in nature along with historical calligraphy, both classical and abstract, from all corners of the world. On Facebook there is a very active asemic writing group where many contemporary drawriters showcase their asemic writing, and where many of them were selected for this exhibit. So onward with the show and let’s, as the asemic writing Wikipedia article states, “hover in a state between reading and looking.”
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