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SAL Challenge Day 26: Asemic Writing

By January 26, 2018Uncategorized

Siobhan Wilder, painting in progress

When I was little, before I could write, I would pretend to write in cursive. I’d take a pencil and paper and draw repeated double loops like cursive f’s, and scrawl graceful wavy lumpy lines. That’s what cursive looked like. I’d pretend to write a doctoral dissertation. My parents were in grad school in Claremont at the time, and I was surrounded by kind academics and their rumpled papers, so in order to make it authentic I’d crumple up the paper as if I was experiencing frustration, then press it all out again, erasing and adding notations in the margins. I would repeat this over and over, with perfect seriousness. I thought it was a beautiful process. I didn’t grow up to write a dissertation, but I did grow up to be a writer, and I am sorry they no longer teach cursive in schools. I still love the look of cursive, and of rumpled paper.

Today, I propose an asemic writing project. Draw lines that resemble words, but without writing anything of meaning.

Asemic writing is a wordless open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means “having no specific semantic content,” or “without the smallest unit of meaning.” With the non-specificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning, which is left for the reader to fill in and interpret.” – Wikipedia

Thank you to the hauntingly mysterious League painter Siobhan Wilder for this idea.

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