This collection of sheets is a purely asemic tone poem, sketching the mood of the first man to stand erect, taking inspiration from the musically depicted portrait given by Charles Mingus, in his Pithecanthropus Erectus.
Aiming at dealing with the story of mankind in its own way, asemic writing seemed the most appropriate choice, insisting upon semiotics, rather than idioms.
Overcome with his alleged superiority over the trees, likewise standing erect, but unmoving in the background, and over the animals, still in a prone position, man first conceived of conquering the Earth, then of eventually ruling Nature.
Given these assumptions, his sought emancipation led to solitude and self-enslaving.
As the original jazz suite, this poem can be loosely divided into four movements:
evolution, p. 11–23
superiority-complex, p. 24–47
decline, p. 48–53
destruction, p. 54–58
The first movement sets the elementary shapes (dots, stains, lines), which get later on, in the second movement especially, organized into more complex dynamic structures or repeated solos.
The introduction to the third movement, instead, registers a much more organic disturbance in the whole pattern. Further attempts to regain control over that first frantic signs of crisis fail.
The fourth movement is again based on the third, except that it develops into an increasing complexity ending with blank language lines, resembling those on page 28 and 29, but somehow unnaturally upwards, no longer organized into blocks.
The final, definite climax is a white fallout, an unexpressed ultimate (or even anew primordial) act.
London, Coldharbour Lane
Liner notes for a Pithecanthropus Erectus sketchbook, with a foreword by SJ Fowler, lulu.com, Morrisville 2018, (Eng-Asemic). ISBN: 978-0244999049
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Four Visuals, «Otoliths», n.50, Mark Young curator, 2018.
The fiftieth issue of Otoliths has just gone live. I’m proud of the achievement, but the credit for the getting here must go to the contributors to the journal, more than a thousand individuals across the issues.
Sadly, some are no longer with us — Robert Gauldie, kari edwards, Marthe Reed, Ira Cohen, Carol Novack, Bob Grumman, Michelle Greenblatt, Rochelle Ratner, Karl Young, David Mitchell, David Meltzer, Thomas Lowe (Tom) Taylor, Ed Baker, Halvard Johnson, Randall Brock, Christopher Mulrooney, Spencer Selby, Philip Byron Oakes, Jill Chan. So, to honor them & acknowledge their part in this journey over the last 12+ years, I have included in this issue a selection of their works from earlier issues.
In addition to that substantial offering, there’s a variety of new work from Andre Bagoo, David Lohrey, Cecelia Chapman, Nicholas Bon, Annabelle Ballard, Kyle Hemmings, Mariana Rodríguez, Gustave Morin, Seth Howard, Raymond Farr, John M. Bennett, Jim Leftwich, Sanjeev Sethi, Michael Minassian, Andrew K. Peterson, Hugh Behm-Steinberg, J.J. Campbell, David Greenslade, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Richard Kostelanetz, Michael Prihoda, Carlyle Baker, Adam Fieled, Lakey Comess, Olivier Schopfer, Claudia Serea, Carol Stetser, AG Davis, Steve Dalachinsky, Jake Berry, Jack Foley, Daniel de Culla, Clara B. Jones, David Baptiste Chirot, Tiana Marrese, John McCluskey, Willie Smith, Doren Robbins, Pearl Button, Meeah Williams, Thomas Fink & Tom Beckett, Jack Galmitz, Devon Balwit, Tom Montag, Kellyn Elson, Mary Kasimor, Jesse Glass, Federico Federici, Daniel f Bradley, M.J. Iuppa, Tim Rogers, Andrew Taylor, Sheila E. Murphy, Texas Fontanella, osvaldo cibils, Joe Balaz, Heath Brougher, Erik Fuhrer, Kevin Tosca, Alyssa Trivett, Jim Meirose, Bob Heman, Penelope Weiss, Drew B. David, Linc Madison, Nicholas J.A., Tony Beyer, J. D. Nelson, Michael Brandonisio, Edward Wells, hiromi suzuki, Michael O’Brien, Pam Brown, Elaine Woo, & 61 “AsEmIc Pieces” — 60 inside & one on the cover — by Alberto Vitacchio, plus, from the 1970s, six more newspaper columns from Kenneth Rexroth.