Coding and Encryption

Having worked with computers since the late 1970's, perhaps it's unsurprising that I would bring code into my practice. Encryption has a long history, from Mesopotamian potters protecting their glaze recipes, to the subtle rhythmic technique of the Tang dynasty poets masking expressions of dissent to its increasing prevalence and multi-layered presence in our modern world.  It opens up a rich set of related topics that have resonance for me: privacy and protection from external threats, commentary on our Faustian pact with computer technology, magical symbols and angelic languages, and the sense of alienation that exclusion can bring when translation is unavailable. 

Asemic Writing

Asemic - without semantic content. Before I knew this term I had explored others, beginning with abstract expressionist calligraphy and progressing to writing in tongues, which captured a sense of channelling a spirit or muse. I have learned since that Cy Twombly called his linguistic elements pseudo-writing.

I explore asemic writing through both distinct and layered mediums: photography, paint, charcoal, brushpen, biro and pencil. Each medium summons its own character and generates its own theme with the presence of graffiti suggesting an outdoor scale and my notebooks a more domestic one.



Binary and Asemic Binary Coding

The use of binary removes another layer of language; from an unlimited number of character forms I am reduced to zero and one. The decisions left are choices of frequency and sequence. A glimpse of intention remains, revealed by my handwriting but even that could be removed by typing and printing the characters. The uses of crumpling and repeated photographic layering further protect the code from decryption.