Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review of Asemics by De Villo Sloan

ASEMICS 16 GREATEST HITS (Vol. 3) Lloyd (USA), Nikoltsou (Greece), Pesetskaya (Russian Federation), Jones (USA)

January 24, 2012 - My retrospective series of articles on the Asemics 16 collaborative book project that was headquartered here at the IUOMA will end with this third volume of selections; otherwise,  I risk becoming lost in incredible work by the nearly 70 artists who participated. We have an exciting new visual poetry book in production that also deserves close attention.

Ginny Lloyd is a well-known Fluxus artist. Project Co-coordinator Cheryl Penn (South Africa) and I were thrilled when she signed on to contribute a chapter to Edition #3. Ginny Lloyd's finely produced and digitally composed chapter has been blogged and documented by others. Personally, I am not sure it has received as much attention as it deserves. These are beautiful and provocative asemics.

While the means of production she used expresses the digital age in comparison to earlier visual and concrete poetry that was an expression of the industrial era, I think Ginny Lloyd's work fulfills the vision of organic structures (literally) in asemic writing and explores the concept of biopoetry, avoiding well "exercises in formalism." For instance, I think it is wonderfully creative, and it might strike some as a bit of humor, that teeth are used for asemic characters (top scan, right side). And teeth do have an undeniable and key role in spoken language. Here is another two-page spread from Ginny Llloyd's chapter: 

For me, each page of the chapter holds new wonder, an unexpected possibility for asemics. While some of the pages evoke scientific or medical images (an anti-art aesthetic?) the organic qualities are very pronounced. The melding symbols (above left) are a prime example - it is not hard to see why so many visual poets are also making videos; these forms want to move. These next pages, far more subtle, are my personal favorites:

These are pages that will please the Symbolist School of Subtle Aesthetic Obscurity. The right-hand page is particularly subtle and complex; indeed, the amazing use of color is hard to capture in a scan. I believe these pages would satisfy even the most "asemically correct" purist.

Many, many thanks to Ginny Lloyd for this incredible chapter and for her involvement in Asemics 16. Check out her artistamps blog and other projects.

(To  read the full review go to the link provided at the top of the article.)

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