Sunday, October 23, 2022

Grzegorz Wróblewski interviewed by Jefferson Hanson about his book Shanty Town | Post-Asemic Press #019

Grzegorz Wróblewski Interview by Jefferson Hansen

Grzegorz Wróblewski has a new book out called Shanty Town from Post-Asemic Press. 

Here is the interview:

1.Each page consists of a deep layer of what looks like cursive writing with circles and other geometric figures on top. Is the cursive in a language or is it asemic? 

This is my calligraphic method, way of creating asemic writing. I have been working on this type of line for several dozen years. It looks like a concrete notation, like cursive. Maybe because it is not a classic pictogram, for example. This “writing and signs” are an echo of my aesthetic research. A kind of signal to other people and outer space. Cursive is like psychology here. Or like an EKG heart test. He gives us many tips. Geometric figures complete this study. Chaos can mean harmony at times. In my opinion, Cy Twombly, Mark Tobey, Pierre Alechinsky and Donald Judd (here I am mentioning, for example, some classical artists of contemporary art) created (paradoxically!) similar works. Mantras have dynamics. Zen is not a lazy dream. It is the constant work of our consciousness.


2. Do you think of our everyday language as layered? Do you think of poetic language as such? How about asemic “language”? What is suggested by the layering in Shanty Town?

Each variation, type of language, including asemic writing, has its own specific accents. Moments of screaming and silence. Irregularity and regularity. Joy and nostalgia. Inner sadness… Layers are just those elements, accents. We have a similar situation in every other entry, creation. In traditional literature, objectivist poetry or haiku. In the singing of the birds, et cetera. Layers are deformation, that is, necessity. It is a voice from planet Earth. Life is made of layers. Their number and density are the characteristics of every human being. The layers in Shanty Town tell the psychological condition of the author of the book. As he sees, he feels the reality around him. What is he dreaming about, what are his “ups and downs”. It seems to me that the issue of layers is not only a topic for archaeologists or geologists. It is also a topic for psychologists, anthropologists, space researchers... Layers are ordinary and mysterious at the same time. As with quantum theories, they cannot be easily defined. Layering in Shanty Town is also a journey through time. Traveler's mirror… As you can see in Shanty Town we sometimes have a lot or less of layers. So this trip had its own pulsation. 


3. You are a poet, visual artist, and asemic artist. How do these three roles interact, if they do, in this work?

I have been working on literature and art for over forty years. I wrote not only poetry, but also prose, plays, essays. Similarly with art. I've experimented with various visual techniques. Apart from acrylics, ink, pastels, charcoal etc., I created mixed media installations. I was interested in the combination of paints with materials such as sand, newspaper scraps, grass... I have also created and still create photographic series, which I make using a technically simple method, a mobile phone.

I was fascinated by calligraphy, and many asemic motifs found their way into my very old works. On the website, Michael Jacobson has published examples of my paintings of this type several times. In my case, literature and art was a large testing ground. The variety of methods and techniques of expression turned out to be very helpful. Everything complemented well. So I was formally well prepared to work on Shanty Town. I had a lot of artistic experience. However, I knew that despite my “work plans”, a huge, unknown space awaited me. And that's how it happened. Shanty Town chronicles a shipwrecked man sailing on a mysterious ocean. It is an evidently interdisciplinary book. A combination of different genres of art. It seems to me, however, that it is a consistent register, very “readable” in reception. This is my hand and soul. People who study the book thoroughly will surely have an opinion about its hermetic nature or the openness (of Shanty Town's ideas).

4. What is the relationship of the title, “Shanty Town”, to the work within? 

Shanty Town is a theme, words from Jamaican ska music. And also the name of a ruined, poor suburb. So, on the one hand, there are roots, cotton fields, and, on the other, a passenger syndrome, someone who is among the excluded. However, a hard past and social exclusion do not mean failure. In some cases, they are salvation. The ability to look at space from a distance. A healthy and analytical distance. I don't feel like the most losing human copy.

But life among human mammals has never been easy and optimistic for me. I strongly believed in the solidarity of those excluded from society, in their wisdom and the power to impart knowledge. That is why the rhythm of cotton fields and houses covered with rusty sheet metal. I wanted to transform my visions, tell the world about them. I chose asemic writing. No other literary or artistic genre was optimal for me. I think that everything is well presented in the introduction published in the book, written by Mark Young, as well as blurbs of such great writers/artists/thinkers as: Dave Read, Karina Obara, Stephen Nelson, Anna Matysiak, Tim Gaze. Calligraphy tells about the human condition, his observations and dilemmas. A traditionally registered chronicle would not be a nuisance. Here, I needed improvisation and a subconscious mind. Different working method. The book may look like a conceptual object at first glance. But it's not like that. It also reflects on human matters that are close to each of us.


5. Did you approach these works as pieces that would end up in a book rather than framed as visual art? If so, how did such an approach affect the work itself? 

I was working on these calligraphies with the book in mind. That was their purpose of creation. But I do not see any problem or conflict to show works from Shanty Town's book at exhibitions in galleries or art museums. Not necessarily in the golden framework… It is a matter of sensible preparation of such an exhibition. Selection, creating cycles. There are many potential possibilities. Each exhibition space has its own logic. Lighting, area, height. Dialogue with asemic works would be very important. The transfer of works from electronic documents to canvas or other material is not complicated technically. But for that you need a solid economy, good curators and organizers. And you know how difficult and complicated the art world is now. So that's just a theory for now. But I thought these works could be presented well in larger formats, such as relatively large "icons", each 120 x 100 cm. It would be an interesting experiment for sure. Single motives would have to "defend itself". The world of the gallery is governed by different rules than the world of books.


6. What, in your view, is asemic writing, and what is its value?

The definition of asemic writing should always be an open definition and not limited by anything. This is not only the orthodox inspiration of "Voynich manuscript". Asemic writing roams freely in the timeline. Calligraphy meets a hologram, and hologram meets electronic, improvised sounds. Together they form a more capacious whole. Asemic writing tries to better understand the Universe, analyzes the mysterious past and looks into the future completely unknown to us. It will always be an aesthetic, extremely important outpost of art, a kind of thinking about the meaning of life. You have to try to treat, although it is not possible.


Monday, August 8, 2022

Owl Noise Zero by Owl Brain Atlas aka J.D. Nelson is available now at Bandcamp!

Out now from Post-Asemic Press! A re-release of pure intensity in the form of sound poetic brilliance. The album is titled Owl Noise Zero by Owl Brain Atlas, the sound art project of poet J.D.Nelson. It was originally self released back in 2013, but has now found a home at PAP's Bandcamp site.  J.D. is also going to release his debut collection of poems in ghostly onehead next month (September 2022) via PAP. So keep a lookout for his new poetry collection that keeps the beat spirit alive and evolving into the 21st Century.

Click here to listen to the whole album.

Sunday, July 10, 2022

A Review of Tim Gaze's Book Glyphs of Uncertain Meaning by Rodica Frentiu

 Here's a selection from Rodica's review for PAP.

"These glyph compositions seem to settle into a puzzle that tries to reconstruct an original moment in the history of writing…Reminiscent of an artistic subconscious, Tim Gaze’s glyphs recover the process through which the direct observation of the real world enters a process of abstraction which plays a decisive role both in visualisation and in the verbalisation of thought…Tim Gaze’s glyph compositions illustrate two universes, which I would call the universe of black on white and the universe of white on black."

From a review of Glyphs of Uncertain Meaning published in:
Philobiblon: Transylvanian Journal of Multidisciplinary Research in Humanities
Vol. XXVII (2022), nr. 1

Friday, July 8, 2022

Possible Gardens by Jaap Blonk is available now!


Possible Gardens by Jaap Blonk is available now from Post-Asemic Press at Amazon!

Jaap Blonk (born 1953 in the Netherlands) first became known worldwide for his performances of sound poetry. He has performed and taught on all continents. From his sound poetry scores he gradually developed an independent body of visual work. This new product of his abundant fantasy is a book of colourful and playful drawings, adding new dimensions to
writing. Myriads of little beings populate each page. As in the artist's 2019 book "111 Recipes" they are distant descendants of Blonk's earlier phonetic signs. From the introduction by Canadian writer, artist and scholar Derek Beaulieu: "Each possible garden is a harvest of sound and image, of script and performance, which asks the reader to be open to a new menu." One element here is the depiction of a struggle between restriction and freedom as a reminder of the recent lockdown periods: in each drawing some of the tiny beings are boxed, while many others roam freely. Sometimes the images look like scientific illustrations from an unknown world, depicting mysterious interactions and behaviors. But always there is poetry in these protozoa as they squirm and swim though a microscopic linguistic field, ebbing and flowing, gathering and fracturing – a constant dance of interplay and restriction. This edition fits the history of Post-Asemic Press beautifully, as a publisher of novel ways of writing. Asemic: no semantic meaning in the word sense, abstract, but with a lively and abundant musical expression. Small wonder with Jaap Blonk's background as a world-renowned sound artist. 

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Post-Asemic Press (July 1, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 90 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1734866284
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1734866285
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.7 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.22 x 9 inches
  • Price : $20.00

"These asemic poems move fluently between language, design and illustration, creating informational graphics where the information remains unknown, inviting diverse interpretations. The suggestion that these are scientific illustrations from an unknown world depicting mysterious interactions and behaviors—animal, vegetable, chemical—does little to make their uncomfortable strangeness more familiar. If anything, the sense these are poetic explanations of processes and activities brings their alienation more fully into consciousness."
—Michael Betancourt, author of Typo Poem

"Stare gently at each possible garden Jaap Blonk has sown here until it begins to vibrate, layer by layer, lifting off the page, two dimensions shifting into three then four. Keep staring and the gardens and landscapes and maps will move and grow and glow into and through and with your eyes. Continue to stare and they will become your eyes and then your ears. To reap the tactile possibilities Blonk has generously cultivated, stare longer, and listen closely (listen as if you are the soil), page after page. When and if you are ready to eat, gently shake the pages onto the tip of your tongue (no seasoning or dressing needed). Enjoy the harvest!"
—Crag Hill, editor The Last Vispo Anthology

Links to purchase Possible Gardens:
Sample Pages:

Jaap Blonk (born 1953 in Woerden, Netherlands) is a self-taught composer, performer, poet and visual artist. His unfinished studies in mathematics and musicology mainly created a penchant for activities in a Dada vein, as did several unsuccessful jobs in offices and other well-organized systems. In the late 1970s he discovered his potential as a vocal performer, at first in reciting historical sound poetry and later on in improvisations and his own compositions. As a vocalist, Jaap Blonk is unique for his powerful stage presence and extended vocal abilities. He has performed and taught around the world, on all continents. 

Blonk’s recorded / published output comprises some 60 titles: CDs, vinyl, books and cassettes. 

From his sound poetry scores he developed an independent body of visual work, which has been exhibited in various countries. Selections have been collected in books by publishers in Germany, Ireland, Canada and the United States.

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Shanty Town by Grzegorz Wróblewski is available now at Amazon!


Shanty Town by Grzegorz Wróblewski is available now at Amazon. Click here to purchase the book.

The book also has an introduction written by the Australian poet and publisher of Otoliths Mark Young.

Shanty Town is an asemic work that demonstrates how ordinary handwriting can be elevated into a fine art. The writing dashes with expressive speed and invention, and plays with legibility in a mode of gestural decisiveness. The book is a document of abstract energy and poetic brilliance, and when opened the book presents the reader with a new contrasting spirit to digital art, and re-engages with the real world in a way that speaks across time. The hectic calligraphy works with an urgency and proclaims a new mode of rough writing in the extreme.


"Rough, unkept, spontaneous and free, Grzegorz Wróblewski's Shanty Town depicts a blurry world of post-literate indecipherability. With coarsely drawn shapes imposed upon a chaos of asemic writing, this collection is built from the rubble of uncomfortable truths.  A triumph of bold writing."              


— Dave Read

"Shanty Town
 packs a powerful punch. It stakes you straight through the heart and throws you overboard, only to next moment toss you a life buoy. It's Grzegorz Wróblewski's opus magnum, in which he brought together the heart and the mind on a whole new level. I see a world that worries him but nonetheless he manages to draw pure beauty from it. Somewhere in between, a fragile hope for salvation emerges. His own and ours." 

—  Karina Obara

"Manic notes from the underbelly. Scores scored out and scorching. Fenced off communities of frozen language. Prisons, pens and penal markings. Lines are blocked off, squashed into huddles and forever ringed or scarred. Sometimes a shape emerges shaken, tries to connect, map and communicate the inner terrain; but there's pain and great beauty here we can barely contemplate. Grzegorz Wróblewski's writings express the world village in trauma. There's nothing left to say, and this is the only way of saying it."       

— Stephen Nelson

"The asemic projects of Grzegorz Wróblewski are a testimony to the skills of the human hand, used to convey meaning over millennia of evolution. In the infinite repetition of shapes, lines and colors, the hand reaches a state of maximum sensitivity that allows it to detect the epiphanic proto-signals of the micro- and macroworld."                 

Anna Matysiak

"Shanty Town is an unusual work, full of compositions unlike anything else I've seen. The pages appear to have been made in 2 stages, drawn annotations over handwritten or hand-drawn ideas underneath. The first stage ranges from well-behaved written lines as in a letter, to jerky scribbled fragmentary jottings, to sketchy doodles, young ideas captured at high speed. The second stage uses shapes such as rectangles, circles and lines, which appear to be organizing or explaining the first stage they partly cover. Although rectangles and rectangular frames are widely used, these works are at the loosest end of rectilinearity. Wróblewski uses visual rhetoric in a poetic way."

Tim Gaze, author of Glyphs of Uncertain Meaning, publisher of Asemic magazine

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Post-Asemic Press (May 4, 2022)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 63 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1734866276
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1734866278
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 5.3 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.15 x 9 inches
  • Price : $12.00

Here are some links to purchase Shanty Town:

Here are some sample pages from Shanty Town:


Grzegorz' Bio:

Monday, April 11, 2022

id est: neo scribalist asemic expressionism by Michael Jacobson

Here are sample pages from my work in progress id est: neo scribalist asemic expressionism.

The book is scheduled to be released on my 50th birthday in 2023 by Post-Asemic Press. id est is an abstract illuminated manuscript that will be 73 pages in length and reflect the universe as I have experienced it. I am posting all the pages on my Facebook wall as I complete painting them. I am using gouache and watercolor pencils to hand-paint the pages one at a time. So far I am up to page 42. The book will be a hardcover and will be available in a print-on-demand edition. 

Manuscripts that influenced me are The Book of Kells, The Voynich Manuscript, The Codex Seraphinianus, and the painted books from Mexico. Though my book is influenced by the totality of human expression going all the way back to cave art and forward to asemic calligraphy, graffiti, neo expressionism, and alien scripts in science fiction. Kenneth Patchen's painted poems are another source of inspiration for me. William Blake's Illuminated Manuscripts are a major influence on my book though more in spirit than aesthetically.