Asemic Calendar Notes

While doing some background research on asemic writing & art, I found a glitch text generator and other related glitch information. ( unfortunately I found some of this after my son went back to London after his holiday visit, so I am trying figure out what some of the other applications are supposed to do). Played a bit with the generator and incorporated in this series of asemic compositions. The attempt is very prominent in first image.



Asemic writing falls between visual art and contextual text. We can look at asemic writing as an art form that uses the codes and conventions of calligraphy/typography. In this case, both meaning and emotional impact is derived from the form, colours, and textures(art medium used), rather than information communicated through the text. Because the text does not act as a direct medium of conveying a message, it is asemic, without meaning.


Contextual text refers to disrupting the linkage between words, phrases and graphics/symbols. By mixing random letters, words, phrases, and graphics meaning breaks down. Multiple fonts, writing modes, languages, and systems of symbols may be combined. Modifying space and direction will further disrupt conventional interpretation. Layering of text and mixing textures and colours will increase the disruption. In this way, the audience is forced to rely on personal context and associations to build an emotional & intellectual response out of an asemic assemblage .


Some Useful Resources


While stumbling about the internet, I also found some other poetry and word-play text-generators at Language is a Virus.  I also found a page from Revolvy that brings together many related topics concerning Asemic writing




8 thoughts on “Asemic Calendar Notes

  1. This is an interesting topic, asemic writing, although I just can’t get it out of my head that words and letters mean something even when they don’t. I guess I tend to decide what the text is saying based on how it looks. Maybe it’s how I see actual words as having faces or emotions around them. I’m not explaining this well, what I want to say is, I think all text has elements of asemicness to me. Anyway, thoughts provoked by your post!

    1. elmediat

      Glad the post gave you food for thought. 🙂

      Instead of asemic, pansemic – Jim Leftwich argues that rather than asemic writing being meaningless, all forms of writing have meaning, pansemia. What he, and you have noticed, is a basic tenet of Literacy theory – the Reader/Audience brings meaning to the text. This is my point about contextual text. All text has context. When someone creates asemic writing/art, they have an internal context (intent) that guides them in the creating the composition. The receiver (reader/viewer) has internal context ( past experience, knowledge, skills) that bring to the decoding/interpreting of the composition. Asemic art will provide multiple meanings, rather than a single meaning. Not only are they open ended, they have no clear edges, and in many cases, even where to begin is up for grabs. 😀

      We are hardwired to impose/decode meaning from our environment. When we are confronted with absurdist performance art, abstract art, dadaist compositions, or asemic art, we impose meaning to satisfy our need to overcome ambiguity. I think that is why narratives that play with mystery, uncertainty, and ambiguity hold such fascination – Lost, X-Files, Dirk Gently, Stranger Things, and Twin Peaks are popular examples. It is also why we are fascinated with the heroic trope of The Great Detective – the protagonist who can solve the mystery and provide meaning to what appears to be meaningless clues.

      Check this link:

      Presently working on Asemic Tarot Cards. How to predict the future when the fortune cards have no meaning or all meanings. 😀

      1. Lots for me to think about here. Thank you. I like the idea of pansemic. And I have always liked books and stories with ambiguity mixed in with a clear solution – everything does not get answered in this world. I esp. like the idea of asemic Tarot cards although I wonder how that will go – hard edged answers are what people want (but often then twist to suit themselves, I think, making them asemic? Pansemic?)

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