MinXus Mail Bag: Kerri Pullo’s (Tucson, Arizona, USA) asemic writing begs a question

kerri pullo - asemics - 1

Mail-art by Kerri Pullo (Tucson, Arizona, USA)

Kerri Pullo aka Miss Kerri A Rose con Pollo is a Mink Ranch fav and regular. We are deeply appreciative that, through her generosity, we are able to grace our pages with all varieties of her art and in particular her extraordinary asemics. This postcard-size piece is a recent arrival we just had to share with you. We have another, larger package we have been saving for a rainy day. Right now we are buried in snow and ice.

This work by Kerri Pullo led us to meditate upon the weighty, theoretical discussions that emerged during the now legendary Asemics 16 collaborative book project, coordinated by the brilliant yet deeply eccentric Cheryl Penn (South Africa) and the great genius De Villo Sloan.

MinXus-Lynxus applies a very expansive definition of asemic writing. We know through hard experience many have much narrower views about this noble practice. This differences in opinion led our beloved DVS to once, unfortunately, rail (more than once) in public about the tyranny of the “Asemically Correct.”

One discussion (brawl) involved work very similar to what Miss Kerri has sent us. Some claim it is not “Asemically Correct” to consider certain varieties of abstract painting representative of anything that could be fairly described as asemic. For instance, is Jackson Pollock’s work asemic? MinXus-Lynxus maintains it is. Cy Twombly presents another perhaps more complex example.

This work Miss Kerri sent us references abstract expressionism as well as street art and graffiti. Some might ask: “How can you call this asemic?”

We believe, owing to her great talent, Miss Kerri leaves no room for debate. If you gaze upon her densely layered work for a time, we are confident you will start to see the shapes of letters, words and even phrases that never quite coalesce into a coherence one experiences when reading. This is one defining quality of asemic writing that is magical when done well: the suggestion of language, the ghost of language, an apparition of language that appears and disappears without ever bestowing meaning yet very possibly expresses something ineffable in the mind of the viewer.

(It is worthy of note as a digression here that Kerri appears to have a deep understanding of Arabic and Islamic art. Brion Gysin’s influential brand of asemic writing has its origins in grid experiments he did with Japanese and Arabic characters.)

Again, we think Miss Kerri’s work does this remarkably. Some of it is achieved though the fracturing that occurs as a result of the layering. Even if you consider, to use words by Anti-MinXus Moan Lisa, asemics are a “scam” (we doubt Moan still believes that) then we hope you can still commune with us in appreciating the beauty of Miss Kerri’s art.

Kerri Pullo - asemics - 2



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. suffolkrebecca
    Feb 03, 2013 @ 20:41:02

    Fabulous blog! Beautiful work.


  2. minkrancher
    Feb 05, 2013 @ 10:43:34

    Thank you, Miss Becca. If memory serves, you participated in Miss Cheryl’s visual poetry book project but unfortunately not the asemic editions. Alas


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