Sunday, January 29, 2023

AI-semics: Excerpts from "The Long Wars of the Pataphysicians" by Lanny Quarles (Texas, USA)


From "The Long Wars of the Pataphysicians" by Lanny Quarles 
(Dallas, Texas, USA) (2023) 





From "The Long Wars of the Pataphysicians" by Lanny Quarles 






From "The Long Wars of the Pataphysicians" by Lanny Quarles 






From "The Long Wars of the Pataphysicians" by Lanny Quarles 






From "The Long Wars of the Pataphysicians" by Lanny Quarles 






From "The Long Wars of the Pataphysicians" by Lanny Quarles 






From "The Long Wars of the Pataphysicians" by Lanny Quarles 









Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Tom Hibbard's Visual Writing Trilogy

 


Cover of Transcendent Topologies by Tom Hibbard (Luna Bisonte Prods 2018). 
Cover art by John M. Bennett & Jim Leftwich. Book design by C. Mehrl Bennett
 & Tom Hibbard (111 pages)



Tom Hibbard's Visual Writing Trilogy


by De Villo Sloan

 

Here at Asemic Front 2 we are deeply saddened by the loss of Tom Hibbard, our longtime correspondent and advisor from Wisconsin, USA. Tom has contributed to the vibrancy of contemporary vispo on a global scale. He inspired numerous themes, investigations and experiments at the AF2 blog.

The previous five years were fruitful for Tom’s writing. He published what I am viewing as a trilogy of critical/theoretical books that I want to take this opportunity to recommend as essential to this audience.

Tom Hibbard’s Transcendent Topologies: Structuralism and Visual Writing was published in 2018 by Luna Bisonte Prods (Columbus, Ohio, USA) and is the book in the trilogy that I believe best represents a unified view of Hibbard’s theories with abundant examples by visual poets.

Tom, in particular, is a persuasive advocate for Luc Fierens (Belgium). The book includes insightful analysis of work by Michael Basinski, David-Baptiste Chirot, Maria Damon and Miekal And, Karl Kempton, and Nico Vassilakis, among others. Transcendent Topologies includes an afterword by Jim Leftwich.

While Tom Hibbard had the imagination and intellectual breadth to assume a role similar to the one held by Bob Grumman in previous years, Hibbard - unlike Grumman - applies critical and literary theory rooted in Western philosophy (incubated in the universities) to the emerging genres of asemics, vispo and neo-concrete poetry.




Cover of The Language Signifier: Visual Writing and the Ecologies of Dimensionality 
by Tom Hibbard (Luna Bisonte Prods 2019). Cover art by Cecil Touchon. Book design
 by C. Mehrl Bennett & Tom Hibbard (130 pages)


In 2019, Luna Bisonte published Tom’s The Language Signifier: Visual Writing and Ecologies of Dimensionality. This collection reveals a greater range and depth of his knowledge of visual writing as well as more traditional texts. If the book lacks the thematic consistency of Transcendent Topologies, it reveals a more reactive, improvisational quality when reading image-text that many readers prefer in reviews.

The book presents in-depth analysis of visual writing, asemic writing and other postavant genres. Included is writing about Luc Fierens, Jack Kerouac, Adriana Kobor, Michael Rothenberg, Spencer Selby, Eileen Tabios, among others. Useful examples of vispo and asemics are included too.

The book is a resource for those working with vispo and asemic theory. Hibbard's impressive knowledge of critical theory enables him to navigate - ultimately to the reader's benefit - the disputed, blasted terrain of competing forces seeking to colonize new forms.


Cover of Poet on the Right Side of History: In Memoriam David-Baptiste Chirot edited by Tom Hibbard, C. Mehrl Bennett and John M. Beneett. (Luna Bisonte Prods 2022). Cover by David-Baptiste Chirot. (70 pages)


In 2022, Luna Bisonte Prods published Poet on the Right Side of History: In Memoriam David-Baptiste Chirot, edited by Tom Hibbard, C. Mehrl Bennett and John M. Bennett. This third book I am including in the visual writing trilogy results from the death of celebrated poet David-Baptiste Chirot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2021.

Tom visited, assisted and provided comfort for David in the final weeks of his life. Tom's altruism and deference are a testimony to the depth of his generous heart. The experience led him to be the catalyst behind Poet on the Right Side of History, a remarkable assembly of voices and a marker in vispo history.

The volume includes tributes by Miekal And, C. Mehrl Bennett, John M. Bennett, Maria Damon, Vernon Frazer, Jonathan Minton, Stephen Perkins, Matthew Stolte, and Eileen Tabios. Geof Huth’s acclaimed account of his meeting with Chirot in September 2005 is reprinted.

Of most relevance to this review is Tom’s essay in the volume entitled “Flowers for Kane Place: The Last Days and Nights of David-Baptiste Chirot.” This deeply felt essay is a departure from the theory-driven abstractions of Transcendent Topologies and The Language Signifier.

Tom writes to Chirot, “Farewell, exiled friend. No worries. You died far from home and loved ones, but you saw what strong territorialism hid from those around you: the reality of loneliness and true existence. It made your artwork so essentially alive…” I believe this aspect of Tom’s writing is essential for a full appreciation of his achievements.

Tom Hibbard has left us a body work to explore and revisit extending far beyond the three books I have gathered here. Part of the tragedy of his loss is that we will never know what work he might have done to further develop his efforts with critical theory and new poetics. Yet others will build on his contributions and his work will be continued by others. Let us hope his spirit of sincerity and kindness remains with us.









Thursday, December 29, 2022

Studies in Linearity by Kristine Snodgrass (Florida, USA)

 


"Study in Linearity" by Kristine Snodgrass (Tallahassee, Florida, USA)





"Study in Linearity" by Kristine Snodgrass






By Kristine Snodgrass





By Kristine Snodgrass





By Kristine Snodgrass





By Kristine Snodgrass









Sunday, December 11, 2022

AI - semic glitched vispo collabs by Kristine Snodgrass (USA) & Kristijonas Lapinskas (France)

 


Collab by Kristine Snodgrass (Florida, USA) 
& Kristijonas Lapinskas (Lyon, France)





Collab by Kristine Snodgrass 
& Kristijonas Lapinskas





By Kristine Snodgrass & Kristijonas Lapinskas





Collab by Kristine Snodgrass & Kristijonas Lapinskas





By Kristine Snodgrass & Kristijonas Lapinskas





By Kristine Snodgrass & Kristijonas Lapinskas




Collab by Kristine Snodgrass 
& Kristijonas Lapinskas




By Kristine Snodgrass & Kristijonas Lapinskas





By Kristine Snodgrass & Kristijonas Lapinskas











Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Asemic Front 2 Review: TYPO#1: Journal of Lettrism, Surrealist Semantics, & Constrained Design



TYPO#1: Journal of Lettrism, Surrealist Semantics, & Constrained Design

Norman Conquest & farewell debut, Editors

Black Scat Books (2023)

148 pages paperback

6 X 9 inches

Color cover; b&w inside

Irregular


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BN2CZGP5?fbclid=IwAR2j6mTiISVwNLRpQuIFBZMuEgGhmfSf1V6bPrpcyG7mX1aue-qjO-eKVxA


Review by De Villo Sloan


The first issue of TYPO published by Derek Pell’s Black Scat Books has arrived at an ideal moment in the evolution of avant garde and experimental art and writing. The monuments of the 20th century avant garde such as DaDa, Surrealism, Lettrism and Oulipo are enjoying healthy interest in the digital age, inspiring the creation of new genres. TYPO provides fresh insights and perspectives on these movements.

TYPO is not another contribution to the wax museum of official culture. The editors interweave selections from what poet Ron Silliman calls the post-avant with the historic avant garde and esoteric visual-verbal examples from earlier centuries. Included are new iterations and genres in the continuum such as asemics, digital collage, neo-concrete and visual poetry as well as typographical innovations rooted in Lettrism. Accessible and highly enjoyable prose complements the flow of images.

Contributors active in the current post-avant include Michael Betancourt, Luc Fierens, Amy Kurman, Karen Shaw, Doug Skinner and Cal Wenby. Their work melds seamlessly with pieces by/about avant garde heroes such as Isidore Isou, Raymond Queneau and Tristan Tzara. A strong Francophone vibe is readily apparent and, I believe, entirely appropriate. A tendency toward outsider art helps establish an eclectic spirit that defies rote categorization.

At the beginning of the issue, Norman Conquest (Derek Pell) writes, “Perhaps you were expecting a pretentious ‘mission statement,’ laced with lofty ideals and principled pronouncements like a sermon on the mount. That’s not for us. Instead, TYPO aims to be unpredictable, with each issue designed to surprise, amuse, titillate, and provoke.” This inaugural issue more than delivers on this promise.

One characteristic of the current post-avant that I notice – this is especially prevalent in European publications – is emotional flatness, a washed-out minimalism, a transformation of Roland Barthes’ “writing degree zero” into writing less than zero. Utterances and images lack both humor and irony mirroring empty circuits of algorithms rather than living. spontaneous, human interactions. TYPO is refreshing for its humanity alone.

The journal contains a healthy dose of humor, eroticism and cryptic ambiguity that makes it enjoyable to peruse many times. However, this interjection of humanity might confound the post-avant readers who can benefit from TYPO.

Discovering the humor and other complex emotional nuances found in DaDa, Surrealism and Lettrism, gives new life and meaning to these movements that had such a tremendous impact on the cultures of the 20th century.

One of my favorite contributions to TYPO is “Mnemonic Alphabets” by Doug Skinner that includes a series of circa 16th century image-text constructs that have an affinity to vispo and asemic glyph compositions of the present. The section “Asemic libertine” exhibits pages by Nicolas Restif de la Bretonne (1734-1806) whose prolific, eccentric publications reveal him to be a forerunner to the avant garde.

As a reviewer, I feel obligated to disclose I first discovered Derek Pell’s writing in underground literary magazines of the 1970s. These publications birthed and nurtured a truly alternative culture in the West. They flourished only briefly, silenced by the heavy-handed, willfully crude, Punk-inspired anti-art aesthetics of the 1980s zine explosion and the rise of the internet. Difficult to find today, the 1970s zines are treasures to explore. TYPO unfolds with the associative fluidity of the earlier underground texts. With its close attention to typography and space, TYPO is brilliantly designed, although unconventional to the core.

What gives the journal its singularity is that, in addition to being an authentic witness to the avant garde, Derek Pell is also a classic “Man of Letters” (Person of Letters). He enjoys wordplay, parody, satire and narrative, which are abundant in TYPO. In the Post-literate era, these elements can produce something akin to Brechtian alienation in some readers. Yet Pell’s approach contributes to a much-needed renewal of language, and we are invited to engage in the serious and joyful task of re-learning the pleasures of reading.

The avant garde that rose in the 19th century and became a vital force in the 20th century has now become a tradition with its own tropes and constraints. TYPO represents exactly what I believe is needed at this time: a bridge uniting the avant garde and the post-avant. I hope we can look forward to many more issues of TYPO.





Monday, October 24, 2022

"Clamber" : Glitched Asemic, Neo-Concrete collabs by Cheryl Penn (South Africa) & De Villo Sloan (USA)

 


"Clamber": Glitched Asemic, Neo-Concrete Vispo collabs
by Cheryl Penn (South Africa) & De Villo Sloan (USA)




Collab by Cheryl Penn (South Africa) & De Villo Sloan (USA)




Collab by Cheryl Penn (South Africa) & De Villo Sloan (USA)




Solo piece by Cheryl Penn used as the foundation for these collabs.