Asemic Valentine’s Postcards




9 thoughts on “Asemic Valentine’s Postcards

  1. I enjoy needing to run to my dictionary to find out the meaning of a new word, but was puzzled not to find asemic in my Oxford Dictionary app! They need to lift their digital game, don’t they?!

    Wikipedia helped out. I can see how the images could be seen as asemic but the Yeats poem renders the post and images full of meaning and therefore cancels out the meaning of the title, surely? Or is the Yeat’s poem an example of asemic writing? Not having come across the word before, I have no idea.

    I enjoyed Michael Gambon’s interpretation of the poem but thought the accompanying music sickly, too dominant and distinctly lacking in imagination. I hope you do not mind my saying so, as you were not responsible for the music choice, and I would think there wouldn’t be a huge amount of choice of video for a spoken word rendition of the piece by Yeats for you to have had any other option.

    1. Asemic writing/art/poetry seems to be a series of interpretations. For visual artists, it is the reduction of written text/print to pure visual form.


      My exploration of this came from two things. I have been playing with what I called textured text. Blending book pages as other texts with various textures. I started using my daughter’s writing. She is a Downs person and she copiously copy out all sort of text. Sometimes she would just write out lines of her own creation – found asemic writing, like found art or found poetry.

      One of the basic concepts about the process of reading is that the reader brings meaning/knowledge&context to the text.

      If you have a learning processing problem, the text is asemic. If you lack the vocabulary and experience, interpreting the text becomes more difficult. Reading highly technical jargon can be as challenging as trying to interpret another language. So in someways all text can be asemic for some individuals.

      Is a piece of writing in a dead language asemic text or are those trying to decode it lacking context /meaning ? Perhaps it is the reader who is asemic, not the text ?

      I know from teaching experience, that some think most poetry is asemic text. 😀

    2. I really liked his expression of the poem. The music is a bit generic – I think they were trying to create a welcoming tone for the widest possible audience and provide musical cues for those individuals who find levels of meaning in poetry somewhat of a challenge.

  2. excellent description and discussion of asemic writing in visual art, so many intriguing ideas. I came to this from an exploration of script and written text in history.
    I might be extra interested in these ideas because I am an immigrant and did not understand English when I first went to school. In those days there was no ESL so life was pretty asemic, but I learned.

    1. Yes, the education system is based on a set of belief about how learning processes work. Depending on those beliefs, a whole set of unintended roadblocks/consequences grow up in the implied learning spaces.

      A different type of learning process becomes a disability in a learning environment that is not amiable to that process. For example, a hands on kinetic tactile visual learner may shine in a tech or arts class, and struggle in a text based learning environment, where the emphasis is on listening, talking, reading and writing.

      Your interest in asemic writing and script and written text as visual art makes perfect sense. Also, the demands put on you acquiring the language and acquiring the knowledge & skills conveyed by the language in the learning environment, would cause you to, at first, concentrate on visual information to fill in the gaps & figure out as much as possible . 🙂

      1. You are right, I still learn much better visually and kinetically than auditory. And your experience with your Downs daughter’s made up script explains your interest. Also your interest in communication and philosophy. 🙂

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