On asemic texts
by Ivan Pope

 

Any text is an intertext, other texts are present in it, at varying levels, in more or less recognisable forms: the texts of the previous and surrounding culture. Any text is a new tissue of past citations. Bits of codes, formulae, rhythmic models, fragments of social languages, etc, pass into the text and are redistributed within it, for there is always language before and around the text.
Roland Barthes, Theory of the Text

While I have come only recently to asemic writing, in a way I have been within this discipline all my creative life. The Barthes quote here is my ur text. My process has entailed pushing work to the edge of content, to the brink of signification, and then pulling it back a tiny way. My aim is for the reader to almost know what they have in front of them, but never to be able to close the loop. I use bits of code, formulae, rhythmic models, fragments of social languages, etc. To me I am producing asemic text rather than asemic writing. The value is in the content, not the process or medium. There is always language before and around the text. It has a lot to say.

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