I discovered the concept of asemic writing through Michael Jacobson’s blog The New Post-Literate: A Gallery of Asemic Writing (there is also a Facebook group). Exploring what Jacobson calls “the new post-literate culture,” asemic writing refers to marks and symbols that look to us like writing – literacy – but don’t translate to a known language. The art that’s emerging is beautiful and wide-ranging, from marks of calligraphic fluidity to bold, aggressive patterning reminiscent of graffiti more than calligraphy.
I’d been thinking for some time about a series having to do with the idea of first words and last words — the first written words were, of course, pictograms. The featured painting on this page has subtle pictograms from the first written language.
I had a stack of small cards with watercolor washes in my studio and added some experimental asemic marks.
I think I lean toward the calligraphic/pretty (I studied calligraphy as a kid) but a more gutteral “language” would be good to explore.
That said, as a writer, I don’t know what a think about a post-literate culture. Literacy still matters.