Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Magazine: The Cut-Up Asemics by Scott Helmes is available around the world at Amazon! Post-Asemic Press #010


Magazine: The Cut-Up Asemics by Scott Helmes is available now around the world at Amazon.

Here is Scott's description of his book:  "Where does the text go after it’s been read? Pure Asemic writing is the total dissolution of the text, leaving traces of the human hand. These works occupy the space between the initial visual text and the pure asemic result. Initially taken from print magazines, primarily selected for the text and typography forms, these works are visual/concrete states of the above process.They reflect memory loss, partial comprehension of meaning and non-verbal sensory input. These too will evaporate at varying rates, depending upon how they are inputted and the ‘reading’ by the viewer. The additional element of what appears to be motion/movement represents the active role of physical writing, the passage of time and loss of meaning. The works start when Helmes finds magazines with interesting type styles. He works primarily with black printing as he feels color is an intrusive meaning, and then tears out selected pages as a first step. India ink is then applied to blank 8-1/2” x 11” plain, paper using either a palate knife or a rubber eraser. The ink-marks are done in a free style writing motion that does not follow the typical typesetting grid. After an over-all ink image is finalized, the magazine pages are torn up into individual elements that are placed on the page and within the frame work of the ink marks. The original meaning of the type is then altered and loses its references. The type then becomes suggestive, especially when the various forms are placed in new relationships with other ‘letters’. Usually attached to the ink lines, the letters begin their total dissolution into nothingness. Without the reader being able to reference the original text, the reader brings to the process their ideas/thoughts about what the text ‘says’. Sometimes whole words or groups of words are included, but these are selected based wholly upon a visual need as opposed to making language sense. Helmes feels these works become after-images and extend the reading and memory process to a unique form and retinal image that is tacked on whatever is left of the language memory. By now becoming a complete work, they extend the life of the magazine/text/writing, as opposed to just the memory of the textural meaning. Some of the early works were given the title of ‘Bones’, which is meant to convey language being stripped of the ‘flesh’ of the word and being left with absolute basics of its form. Later works are just dated and contain no further references,thus enabling a concrete point in the transition to Asemic writing."

  • Paperback: 70 pages
  • Publisher: Post-Asemic Press (October 11, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1732878889
  • ISBN-13: 978-1732878884
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces 
  • Price: $16.00

Blurbs:

In Magazine, there is poise; there is intention. Letters form openings, letters form arrows into openings. There is sexual heat, there is calm, there is clarity. There are lacey places like thin branches that form something together. Going deeply into the book, the images turn block-like, with greater conformance to solid letters. Some of the forms as humanoids resist each other or veer together. Angles are musical, even lamp like. Always there are edges. Always there are magnets and pulse-driven points of strength. Nothing is finished. Or everything is. Color is mildly allowed as suggested, but only that. A calligraphic zeal and respite all in one confirm a mind that plays precisely.

This is asemia at its purest. To the point that when I reach the author photo page, I reflexively begin to subtract flecks of the dark jacket and the word “Columbia.”  

 —Sheila E. Murphy


From among all the visual poets working today, Scott Helmes is the one most focused on the letter, especially the fragment thereof. His goal is not the word. His purpose is to examine the fractured letter in its typographic and calligraphic manifestations, to see what there is to understand in the atomization of written language, to uncover how the corners of individual letters can make us recall the language as a whole. In the poems in this collection, he merges his two major practices and fashions collage poems that mix the fluid rigidity of his favorite typographic forms with rough and painterly brushstrokes of ink, thus tying together the handmade forms of inking with the machine-made curves and slices of type. In this way, he reconnects two major practices in visual poetry, presenting us with two views of this world: the clean and the dirty—and the beauty of both.

—Geof Huth

Click on the following links to buy the book at Amazon:

Amazon USA 

Amazon Australia

Amazon Brazil (Brasil) 

Amazon Canada  

Amazon France

Amazon Germany (Deutschland)

Amazon India

Amazon Italy (Italia)

Amazon Mexico

Amazon Spain (España)

Amazon UK 

Here are some sample pages from Magazine:












Scott Helmes is a poet, book artist, writer, artist, architect and photographer. His experimental poetry has been collected, published and exhibited worldwide for over 40 years. Books include 1000 Haiku, Stamp Pad Press; Poems From Then to Now, Redfoxpress (Ireland), and The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008, Fantagraphics. In 2015, two works were included in The New Concrete, an international concrete poetry anthology from Hayward Press, London.  13 poems were published as part of the Kobitadihi Online Magazine World-wide Visual Poetry, April 2017. An altered book was exhibited in the Wallpaper exhibition at Traffic Zone in July, 2018. His studio is located in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I'm getting the Post-Asemic Press web site up and running! https://post-asemicpress.com/


Click here to visit the new shop: https://post-asemicpress.com/

I will still use this 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!

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.