MinXus Mail Bag: Asemic Cut-up by Linda French (Two Harbors, Minnesota, USA)

Linda - 3.17.2015 - 1

Mail art by Linda French (Two Harbors, Minnesota, USA)

New Tenderfoot Linda French seems to be riding out a particularly oppressive Minnesota winter by producing adornments in rapid succession for our humble blog. We are thrilled and honored to receive her work. We are also especially impressed with this latest piece received.

Collage using cut-up letters amounts to a subgenre within asemics, and this method of composition is not as easy as it might first appear. This work by Linda French, in our estimation, is a spectacular success. Cutting up and recombining existing language is a proven method for generating asemic writing. The success of language cut ups in creating asemics is rooted in a process of defamiliarization, a favorite avant strategy. Words and letters are fragmented until they are no longer or only barely recognizable; the surviving symbols are certainly decontextualized.

Yet they still contain the ghost of language and/or offer fleeting associations to language that have no extended coherence. This is an ideal scenario for asemics and draws upon the remnants of existing language; the deconstructive action is literal. Word order and syntax are erased leaving the writer with the option of creating new structures, as Linda French has done here. This work, like so many of the asemic pieces we receive, relies heavily on visual arts elements – such as color, shape and repetition – so vispo elements are present as well.

Rather than an envelope, the work arrived encased in plastic:

Linda - 3.17.2015 - 2

Here is the reverse side prior to opening:

Linda - 3.17.2015 - 3

Many thanks to Linda French for more lovely work!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dear detective
    Mar 19, 2015 @ 10:41:31

    beautiful work, and i love linda’s categorization of her own work – ‘fakey-fake but still pleasant enough’!


  2. minkrancher
    Mar 20, 2015 @ 11:08:00

    Hi dear detective, your theme is so great! We are huge noir fans at The Ranch as well as gunslingers.

    If Linda chooses to characterize herself as “fakey fake,” who are we to object? Thus far she has been the exemplar of Mail-Art NouveauX – the current state of mail-art in this the de-fence-ive phase of post-holism in the more general tendency of post-office.

    We admire this asemic piece very much. As to whether you can have fake asemics is an interesting question you didn’t actually raise but suggested. We will ponder this.

    Again, thanks for much for the feedback!


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