MinXus Mail Bag: Asemic vispo by Emily Coles (Bath, UK)

Emily Coles - 6.18.2014 - 1

Mail-art by Emily Coles aka E. Coles (Bath, UK)

Last year Emily Coles in Britain sent us some FAB asemics that displayed an affinity with the calligraphic wing of composition:


We have just managed to document and archive a second missive received from E. Coles that we are eager to share with you here. This postcard-size piece employs different strategies. Emily Coles uses a more raw, ripped paper approach in this work that accentuates the materiality of language. We detect a Trashpo influence, although materiality and anti-art are hardly the exclusive domain of the Trashpoets.

Emily Coles - 6.18.2014 - 2

We believe the exploration of Arabic is very effective. Juxtaposing the elegant script with the industrial repetition of signs, a trademark of classic concrete poetry, and cursive asemics in an over-arching vispo structure produces an interesting meditation on the material production and representation of language as well as reading. A number of contemporary English-language visual poets have turned to Arabic and Islamic art in general for inspiration, including Kerri Pullo (Arizona, USA) and Karl Kempton (California, USA). Many consider Brion Gysin’s work with Arabic/Japanese grid structures in the mid-2oth century to be a starting point for the current asemic wave. Emily Coles’ piece presented here is, we believe, an addition to the conversation. Here is the envelope:

Emily Coles - 6.18.2014 - 3

And the reverse:

Emily Coles - 6.18.2014 - 4

Always a pleasure to receive correspondence from Emily Coles!



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