MinXus Mail Bag: Asemic cut-up by Claudia McGill (Wyncote, Pennsylvania, USA)


Mail-art by Claudia McGill (Wyncote, Pennsylvania, USA)

Dear friend and ever-faithful correspondent Claudia McGill sent us this brilliant piece that favors our own interest in asemic writing that is composed, at least in part, on a randomness principle.

As we hope the scan reveals, Claudia composed this postcard-size work by overlaying strips of (mostly) cursive writing in a relatively linear pattern upon a foundation of more cursive writing. We note that this “cut-up” technique (see William S. Burroughs) was employed by a number of artists who participated in the monumental Asemics 16 collaborative book project in 2011-12. This process creates new symbols and textual forms, all of which could not possibly have been anticipated. We find the result very impressive.

Friends know that Claudia McGill is capable of using an astonishingly wide range of aesthetic approaches to produce pleasing results. For this piece, she looks back to her gritty roots in the Trashpo, anti-art school. In fact, this work bears some similarity to the 2005 Trashpo compositions by visual poet Jim Leftwich (Virginia, USA) that launched the recent Trashpo craze (along with the work of Diane Keys (Illinois, USA).

To speak frankly with our intrepid readers, it is our opinion that the more formalist approaches to cut-up asemics are less successful than the anti-art sensibility. This is likely due to the fact that the formalist approach is less conducive to the integration and synthesis necessary to create a new language (or more properly the suggestion of a language) built on an existing language.


Many thanks to Claudia McGill for sending work for the growing asemic collection.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Claudia McGill
    Nov 03, 2013 @ 21:31:39

    Thanks for blogging this card. I love the mysteriousness of this technique. Searching for the message in the layers and it’s always just slipping out of reach.
    I also like the technique of random pieces of printed matter all glued together to make something – chaotic. Like the way my head feels when I am in a crowd.
    Well, thanks again, I always appreciate your commentary and attention to my work.


  2. Claudia McGill
    Nov 03, 2013 @ 21:32:17

    Reblogged this on Claudia McGill and Her Art World and commented:
    A mail art postcard with a message.


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