Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I'm getting the Post-Asemic Press web site up and running and other PAP news!

Click here to visit the new shop:

I will still use the blog for more in-depth information about PAP. But I am getting to the point where the blog was becoming too over crowded, and I just needed some more (cyber)space, along with creating a more user friendly experience for readers/viewers.  

In other news:

Magazine: The Cut-Up Asemics by Scott Helmes will be published in early November of 2019. Scott and I are going to enter it into the 2019 Minnesota book awards. There will be more info about this title in the coming weeks. But it's basically cut-up magazine letters combined with expressive asemic calligraphy. The book has a foreword written by John M. Bennett.

I also interviewed Marilyn R. Rosenberg about her new book FALSE FICTION FRACTURED FACT ALTERED. It will appear in the next issue of Utsanga. In the interview we discuss book art, her life, and her asemic calligraphy works.

The Cecil Touchon Asemic Reader is out now! It's one of the best books ever published coming from the asemic movement! It visually dances for the eyes and the mind, and summarizes Touchon's unique artistic career in asemics dating all the way back to the 1970s. The reader includes a foreword by Federico Federici It's the first full color work to be published by PAP, and It's available around the world at Amazon, and will be available soon in October 2019 at the shop at Minnesota Center for Book Arts. 

Looking with clear eyes into spring of 2020, PAP will be releasing GLITCHASEMICS by Marco Giovenale. It's a fantastic work of glitched asemic writing displayed in full color. The book will also contain an extensive foreword by Michael Betancourt  discussing Giovenale's unique blending of asemic poetry and glitch art. Expect it to drop from PAP in April 2020.

That's all! Happy reading!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Cecilia Chapman and Jeff Crouch / On Buckskin Path: What the Cyborg Found | Asemic Drawings

Jeff Crouch: Asemics is going to become more important as AI becomes more pre-dominant. Why? AI is still fundamentally tied to the concept of symbolic expression, something which dates back, at least, to the significant linguistic work of Noam Chomsky, which supplanted the linguistic work of Benjamin Lee Whorf and made generative grammars vogue. The work of Chomsky greatly benefitted the development of computing, especially compilers and computer logix. So, it’s a path that has had  its benefits. Yet for me, such grammars are linked directly to symbolic expression. But Geoffrey Hinton, the brain behind the use of AI at Google, does not believe that mental images reduce to pixels, nor does he believe that thoughts reduce to symbolic expressions. Again, for me, the insight of Hinton is in line with the insight asemic writing provides. Asemic writing is about something other than the symbolic, for the most part. So, the path Hinton provides allows us to re-incorporate the work of Whorf into our studies and to investigate mind as something largely not representational, a path which asemics has provided in aesthetics for a while now.
Cecilia Chapman: This is soooo helpful....I would even suggest the mind was trained to use symbolic images and got off on the wrong path at the dawn of history....and has caused a lot of divisive human problems. You know me and shamans and in a sense I think they helped steer us providing symbols as a way of being helpful, or manipulative and cunning, to maintain control of the tribe to survive, while they were the last guardians of the intuitive mind. Which, as primitives going into space, is a mindset we might need to regain, the intuitive mind, completely erased of symbolic imagery. I mean we won't  need to communicate about getting the cows into the barn before the storm, or buying socks for winter or gold before a crisis or supporting a politician or any of those symbolic messages will we? Coming from a design background where the message is used to seduce and sell, I find that hopelessly inept and following the shamans original intent....we might be encountering new life forms and need to engage on an entirely different level. Maybe we don't even engage ourselves, but through AI, then what? Maybe our minds are read, maybe we learn to read minds...perhaps our minds are too vulnerable and we have to learn to shut down through advanced forms of meditation and find other neurological ways to engage. Anyway I don't know about Chomsky and Hinton and I am going to go read about that. But I totally get the future-as-here-now uselessness of symbolic thought to engage and I won't use the word communicate because that implies message which needs symbols. But in asemic drawing I get to erase my almost senseless graphic training and explore new  ways of visual engagement and conversation.

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Cecil Touchon Asemic Reader is Available @ Amazon! Post-Asemic Press #009

The Cecil Touchon Asemic Reader is finally available for purchase at Amazon! Cecil best explains his book here:

"The current permutation of The Reader, originally envisioned as a black and white book, expanded in size and breadth to its current full color version to take into account the range of expression in Touchon's asemic explorations spanning forty years of works on paper including images from Touchon's unpublished sketchbooks. 

The first section of the book primarily contains palimpsest based asemic writing originally intended for mail art correspondence in which Touchon overwrites texts as found in 19th and early 20th century antique poetry books, a book of sermons, farm journal pages, a postcard, a grade school autograph book page, a sheet of music, a page from a vintage high school chemistry workbook and old invoices. Using these found papers collected for possible collage material, Touchon retains and uses the structure on the page and the patinated paper as inspiration for these asemic works often overwritten with india ink and quill pen. Following these are selected typographic abstraction works from the Fusion Series, Touchon diary-like ongoing series of collage works begun in 1983 and continuing to the present. In these works Touchon uses a wide ranging body of materials, approaches and techniques to produce these poetic works that explore figure and ground relationships and a variety of compositional strategies. These collages become studies for Touchon's paintings. In the midst of this group are a series of asemic 'songs' on torn brown paper using colored pens, pencil shading and white pencil highlighting that express the idea of visual musicality. At the end of the typographic collage works there is the image of a labyrinthian network of overlapping white lines over a black void that seem to float on multiple levels. This opens the way to a set of works of brush and ink from 2009 on the pages of a single antique journal where the markings are painted onto the leaves of paper and after a few moments the pages were held under running water in the kitchen sink. Whatever ink had dried remained on the page leaving gray ghost marks where the ink had been washed away. The book concludes with a variety of works from the late 1970's examining Touchon's early mark making based on language or visual musicality.

Taken as a whole, this sampling of works across forty years of Touchon's oeuvre reminds one of a quote from the 1949 'Lecture on Nothing' by John Cage: "I have nothing to say and I am saying it..." but in Touchon's case he possibly is saying nothing about Something; perhaps a something so transcendent that common words cannot speak of it, something so vast that words crumble into gibberish and collapse into an unutterable silence. Some of the titles of previous exhibitions of Touchon's work suggest this such as: 'Beyond Words', 'Reduced to Silence' or 'The Unspoken Remains'. Yet Touchon's works are not nihilistic in nature. They could be said to be meaningless though clearly not purposeless. Touchon has said that his interest is in expressing 'the underlying universal harmony of all things'. One has the impression when studying these works that literary meaning has been removed or obfuscated but in Touchon's view he sees his work as liberating language from its work as bearer of meaning and by extension liberating the reader from the work of deciphering meaning and from the obligation of being literate when enjoying the works purely for their aesthetic value. In a world whose population is engulfed in a deluge of information that we must continually navigate, these works offer a small oasis in which one might be refreshed along the seemingly endless journey over the shifting sands of data on the horizons of which can only be seen mirage and simulacrum." 

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Post-Asemic Press (August 22, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1732878897
  • ISBN-13: 978-1732878891
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.6 ounces 
  • Price: $27.00 

Click here to purchase The Cecil Touchon Asemic Reader

A torrent of creative dynamism, The Cecil Touchon Asemic Reader comes at you in three waves: asemic overwriting of print, usually on antique pages; the elegant typographic collages for which Touchon is best known; and layered linear screens that seem to exist in a receding space. Through these variations, the book challenges us to rethink in depth our conceptions of surface, a thinking accompanied by wordless pleasure.

—Peter Schwenger, author of Asemic: The Art Of Writing

Touchon’s Asemic Reader is an important and inspiring book, and it calls to all schools of thought. The invitation here is to experience new dimensions of the present moment. Touchon’s captivating letter play and use of asemic writing makes him a true explorer of the invisible script.

Sam Roxas-Chua , author of Echolalia in Script (Orison Books), and Saying Your Name Three Times Underwater (Lithic Press)

The three layers/styles which build this book are as different as the reader or viewer’s reactions and observations which the layers imply & help create. 
    The first series of works deals with an intriguing enigmatic silhouette, a shape and idea of time past. The calligraphic lines or typographic erasures or deleted music notes tell us intricate stories and talk to our perception according to the antiquity of the paper they’re written on. 
    The second series shows broken letters, cut ones, like in a labyrinthine re-/de-organization of a stray alphabet of imagination. These well known and highly appreciated works by Cecil Touchon proudly belong to a tradition one can maybe connect to the names of Adriano Spatola and Edwin Schlossberg.
     A third little series introduces the viewer to an even wider range of codes, involving abstract movements of curls, curved signs, naturally evolving from the previous pages, as to mark a fascinating link between the fragmented alphabet letters and numbers, and a liquid set of traces impossible to grasp, yet still grasping our eyes.

Marco Giovenale, author of GLITCHASEMICS (forthcoming from Post-Asemic Press, in Spring of 2020)

The Cecil Touchon Asemic Reader is available worldwide on the following links:

Amazon Germany (Deutschland) 

Amazon Japan (日本)

Amazon Spain (España)

Here are some sample images from The Cecil Touchon Asemic Reader:

Cecil Touchon (b. 1956) was born in Austin, Texas; grew up in Saint Louis, Missouri and currently lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Touchon, who enjoys an international reputation as a contemporary artist, founded the Ontological Museum and its publishing arm: Ontological Museum Publications. Aside from his artistic career, Touchon curates art exhibitions, writes poetry and publishes books. Touchon's interests and associations include the Collage/Assemblage community, Fluxus, Massurrealism, Neoism, Post-Dogmatism and the Mail Art community.