Ayiter, Elif Asemia. [Creative Activity in Art and Design]
Asemia was an experimental, virtual, three dimensional, immersive artwork that had its existence in Second Life in Spring 2012 as part of a group exhibit sponsored by the Linden Endwomnet for the Arts. During the past year I have developed the outcome of the installation, supplemented by some explanatory texts into an online project. The work revolved the idea of Asemic writing which is a wordless, open semantic form of writing. The word asemic means "having no specific semantic content." With the nonspecificity of asemic writing there comes a vacuum of meaning which is left for the reader to fill in and interpret. The open nature of asemic works allows for meaning to occur trans-linguistically; an asemic text may be "read" in a similar fashion regardless of the reader's natural language. Asemia consisted of a huge virtual sphere and a landscape complete with inhabitants that resided in this sphere. Almost all of the elements of the habitat, as well as its dwellers were carriers of ‘text,’ however text that was devoid of meaning, that did not resemble any known language and that repeated itself throughout, mapping itself equally on ‘living’ beings as well as the many solid rocks that were scattered throughout the space and that these beings were intertwined with and/or embedded into. The only exception to this asemic assemblage was a single line of text that wound its way around the center of the sphere and that could be read as ‘alas, they are speaking in unknown tongues.’ Deconstruction was achieved through the very semantic absence itself. It was hoped that this lack of semantic content would enable the visitor to draw their own meaning by taking clues from what surrounded them, and how the text was used in conjunction with other visual elements. Yet another addition was a custom designed soundscape, consisting of human sounds such as screams, grunts, sighs, and cries – all of which were devoid of words and meaning, but instead conveyed emotions such as being bound, being helpless, being petrified within a fate.
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