Sunday, January 24, 2021

Asemics and the Case of Vocal Intonation: A Set Theory for Writing with Notes from Tim Gaze Appended / EZE, 2021

Asemics and the Case of Vocal Intonation: A Set Theory for Writing (with Reference to Music)

For writing as the act of making graphic, the  ________ between writing iconographically and writing asemically does not seem quite the same as the  ________ between writing phonetically and writing asemically. 

With graphics, anything other than an unbounded  ________ is presence, which at least maps to itself both as graphic and as asemics. The unmapped  ________ is, however, the pointer or the set of pointers that does not reference language, which is generally the  ________ of asemic writing as defined within the  ________ of all writing.

Writing that operates only partially as asemics, i.e., writing that also  references language, whether iconographically or phonetically, is also within the set of all writing. One might argue that asemics itself is never free of language, that within the  ________ of writing, asemics itself only emerges as partial asemics. Indeed, the  ________ of writing that is non-asemics only emerges as partial as such because the asemic  ________ of language is present in any and all writing.

Beyond writing iconographically, where the grapheme comes to the fore, writing phonetically is another consideration.

Here, we consider writing iconographically as graphemic, but we consider writing phonetically as graphemic-phonetic because we are defining writing as graphemic and we are thereby requiring a graphemic presence for phonetic writing. To define writing some other way would require a re-thinking of this set theory.

Without reference to the graphemic-phonemic  ________ of language, writing phonetically occupies an unbounded  ________ as asemics, but with an available reference, writing phonetically occupies the  ________ of, for example, visual poetry. In other words, writing phonetically is, of course, within the  ________ of all writing, but for the question of asemics, how is the ________ of writing shared or not shared between writing iconographically and writing phonetically?

For visual poetry purists, visual poetry requires reference to language, by definition. Yet we have a means to limit the reference to language by mapping writing to the graphemic-phonemic  ________ of language without also conflating the graphemic-phonemic  ________ of language with the  ________ of language itself.

At an abstract level, the graphemic-phonetic ________ maps to music, and here, the ________ of music would seem to encompass the ________ of language. 

What does this mean as a realized practice? Take the example of vocal intonation in the work of Ennio Moricone, especially "Once Upon a Time in the West." What we have in "Once Upon a Time in the West" is not so much an example of asemic writing, but rather, an example of asemic music, a conception which allows us to supplant the graphic aspects of writing with the tonal aspects of music. Not only does its use of vocal intonation reference the ________  of music, but "Once Upon a Time in the West." also seems to posit an unknown language, which it also references, a conception which returns us to the very ________ of language.

As for posited (enacted) language, he Post Office scene in Men in Black II, in particular, the "Pooh Me Nan Ga" dialogue, makes for a wonderful illustration of vocal intonation (asemic music) doubling as language, however unknown or alien, however much non-sense.

Indeed, when music maps from the ________ of music to the ________ of language, we often find a ________ both of asemic music and asemic writing. Here, we encounter a mapping generally defined by onomatopoeia.  Onomatopoeia usually references the  ________ of music indirectly through the graphemic-phonetic  ________ of language, but as we have seen, the phonetics of vocal intonation do not require language because the  ________ of vocal intonation is within the  ________ of music. However, we often use language to establish this mapping, and the mapping of sound from language to language differs as, for example, the sound a rooster makes differs between French and English.

And here are examples of language mapped to/as music:

"Du Doo Ron Ron"

"Doo Wah Diddy"

"Da Da Da"

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"

"Iko Iko"

"Musha rain dum a doo, dum a dah

Whack for my daddy, oh"

"Ou W A A A"

"Click Click Boom"

"Ooga-Chaka Ooga-Ooga" or "Uga Chaka Uga"

"Da Boom Na Da Noom Na Namena"

We cannot easily define the total ________ of writing, let alone of writing and of music, and this lack leaves our theory open rather than closed, but we have, in the mapping of the  ________, a means to better understand asemics, even as the default  ________ of the  ________.

Notes from Tim Gaze

Check out the Tim Gaze radio show Sound Poetry etc.: Episode 6 included some silly songs and word games. Most other episodes include wordless sound poetry in the tradition of Henri Chopin. Recently, Tim Gaze is getting into a new wave of musical vocalists such as Stine Janvin and Audrey Chen, more or less asemic singing.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Sunday, January 3, 2021

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Poetry Makes Things Happen by Jim Leftwich

 Poetry Makes Things Happen


For Jim Leftwich, the boundary between poetry and criticism, or more accurately, between poetry and writing about poetry, is extremely porous. This book should make that very clear; in fact, here it is sometimes hard to tell whether a text is “original poetry” or his writing “about poetry”. Which suggests that the distinction may not be all that important. (Another such book is one he wrote focused on my own work, or using my work as a springboard, Containers Projecting Multitudes: Expositions on the Poetry of John M. Bennett, 2019.) This is perhaps an outgrowth of his practice of making “hacks” of others' poetry and texts, which is in itself a means of entering into, and remaking aspects of, another's work, using a wide variety of processes ranging from the arbitrary and deliberate, to the improvisational and purely intuitive. What this does is to turn the process of writing about poetry on its head. Instead of applying a preordained critical method or theory to a text, Leftwich presents, as it were in “real time”, an account of what it was like, of what happened, when he read the text. We thus have a narration of a real experience of reading. For me, and for many of us in this new literary avant garde, this is vastly more interesting and useful than the use of a text to support or illustrate a particular literary (or other) ideology. Leftwich's work in this regard is unique, exciting, and represents real progress in the “problem” of “how to read poetry”, and of how to write it as well. -¬ John M. Bennett

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Asemics in Popular Culture: SNL on the Aesthetics of Meaning ... / EZE, 2020

 Art can be a protest against convention, but art also defines its own conventions just as it is defined by convention. Does art escape convention? Asemics, as art, certainly has its own conventions. But what happens when asemics operates as a means to unground a convention? Does the ensuing criticism move into the circuit of State and Nomad as defined by Deleuze and Guattari? 



The "XXL Rap Roundtable" skit from Saturday Night Live (December 12, 2020) makes a point of posing an asemic performance in a genre against the genre itself. How does asemics operate socially, politically, culturally, and artistically? Asemics here can be taken to be non-sense, i.e. words, utterances, songs, ... without [apparent or shared] meaning. [Note that semantics can be, but need not be, invoked here.] 

And is the point at which performance within a genre establishes itself as contrary to convention, i.e. as not [presently] defined by that genre, a type of asemics as it disrupts the mode of meaning offered by the genre? Or do we need another term other than asemic performance for this use of non-sense?

SNL's XXL Rap Roundtable: Pop Culture Asemics

To what end is asemics as non-sense, as an empty placeholder of the formal, as disruption a method?