Asemic Poetry

Another fascinating week with lots of connections with things I’ve done in the past and things I’m particularly interested in. 

Sticking with my bookmaking ‘habit’ (not sure I’ll keep it up for 7 weeks) I’ve used an off-the-shelf book with insides removed and my responses on the cover and on sheets that fold out.

I’ve come across quite a bit of asemic writing before but hadn’t realised it had a name – I find it fascinating and beautiful – but to be ‘beautiful’ rather than ‘pretty’ for me requires some rationale, some substance beyond the look of the work – though that’s not always obvious.

 A couple of the elements in this book were images of pieces I already had and a couple were repeats of techniques I’ve done before but there were completely new parts too. Some elements work better than others (which is the point of experimentation isn’t it …) but it was fun working on all of them.

Which order should I put the weekly work from that course? Does it matter??….

I found the first week 0f the Visual Poetry course almost unbearably exciting as it sparked off so many connections – every few pages of the Steven’s PowerPoint sent me off to collect something from around the house so collect something I might use in that week’s book – and I ended up with 13 items! Connections, connections, connections. The book was rather draft quality – I didn’t have time each week to work on the neatest/best presentation.

Can Can Poem Book (leaves, book, text – a past book I made, with poem by Clare)

Tree, Harwarden (mud, charcoal)

Punctuation (graphite rubbing)

Mayan text on seeds, Chinese ink blocks,

Rapa Nui Bird Man cult earrings (photo, graphite rubbing)

Moughton Scar wetstone (photo, graphite rubbing, text)

Moughton Scar wetsone with runes – ‘Mounghton Scar wetstone masquerading as Blue John’ (photo, runes)

Manipulated photo: cup and ring marked rock, Hangingstones Rock, Ilkley Moor

Bones, burnt, wrapped, text (photo)

Labyrinth carved on Welsh  slate (graphite rubbing)

Visual Poetry

Did a very interesting/stimulating online course last autumn with Steven Fowler – Visual Poetry. It got rather complicated at times as I felt that the definition of Visual Poetry was just too broad – all just seemed like Art to me – but hey ho, so what, Drawing now seems to include everything at all so why not poetry too …

I got the idea that for each week’s ‘theme’ I should make a book – that’s what I do, make artist’s books, which of course would mean more work that just doing an ‘drawing’ or whatever each week … but that’s what I should do … and what I did … and it was great – exciting, stimulating, hard work, troublesome and eventually very satisfying. So here’s the books that I produced for each week –

Just came across this past post on another of my websites – the depressing thing is it’s still so relevant ….

April 12, 2009

I was without my internet connection for 5 days last week – the first evening I thought it was just a temporary little problem; the next day I was busy anyway and accessed emails from the university; but when the next morning there was still no connection action was required – but I was hesitant about calling my broadband helpline at 25p/min (that lends itself to a whole other post about peoples relationships with money, which isn’t relevant here). My hesitancy became apoplexy when after 5 mins (what useful and/or pleasant thing could I have done with that £1.25?!) the woman on the end of the line hadn’t even managed to connect to my account – what is your postcode again please? LS7 … Yes, O for Oscar … No, L…. Yes, O for Oscar  … NO, L for Lima ….   Why is it that certain things, usually technologies, can reduce otherwise reasonable people to screaming monsters? (not that I’m so reasonable at the best of times……) Something about being at its/their mercy? I was beginning to question my own sanity, was I misunderstanding, was I saying the wrong thing – I felt trapped in a parallel universe – then exploded. The problem was diagnosed in the end (by someone else with better English) but would require an engineers visit and the earliest appointment was in 2 days. Nothing to be done, I had to wait. Should I fret and fume? Should I waste time going into the university when I should be getting on with knitting my garden spade (yes, you read that right…..)? Or should I just use this as an opportunity to see what it feels like to be unconnected for a few days? There was nothing really urgent – well not till Sunday night when that nipping press finishes on eBay…. How dependent am I on this umbilical cord to the online world (a metaphore too far? – the internet was born well after me) with it’s convenient answers to so many little queries? I have friends who don’t use it at all! I don’t like the idea of being dependent on anything.

The engineer solved the problem 2 days later. The sky didn’t fall in nor the world as I know it end. Actually it was all pretty painless. No part of my overactive life was actually held up. But what is given with one hand (convenient technologies; free phone calls) is taken away with another (nothing is failsafe; grossly inflated rates for all the calls that you actually need to make). Outsourcing to Indian may be all very well but if your’e charging an inflated rate surely you have to ensure that the staff are competent and properly trained? Well I can take my custom elsewhere, but not till my contract finishes – at least it’s only an annual contract whereas our power over our politicians has to wait 4 years – does that make the technology more democratic than politics? – ha ha. Where’s the blogs/forums/whatever for exerting people-power over service providers and phone charges?