David Seaman began creating concrete poetry in 1968, exhibiting in New York, Virginia, Illinois and Italy. After traveling to France to interview members of the French avant-garde Pierre Garnier and the Spatialistes, Julien Blaine, Jochen Gerz and Maurice Lemaître, he recognized his affinity with Lettrism.
David Seaman has participated in Lettrist shows since 1982, when he showed his film, “The French Sweet,” at the avant-garde film and video festival in Paris. Since then he has exhibited paintings and sculptures in Lettrist shows, and during the 1980’s focused on monumental texts such as Tree of the wise, a poem incised in the forest, and Road Poem, a text painted on a road, which is included in the book, La Méca-Esthétique lettriste (1999). He has participated with paintings and works on paper in Lettrist exhibitions in Paris, Versailles, and Slovenia.
Seaman’s involvement in Lettrism relates to his polyglot approach to cultural diversity, and his research for a visual archaeology of the letter. This has led to his Return to Babel, a large canvas encrusted with letters and signs and illuminated by a computer disk, exhibited for the first time in the exhibition From Letters to Letterism in Georgia , USA in 2000, and his three Petroglyphs, exhibited in the show Le mois du lettrisme at the Galerie-Atelier Visconti, Paris, April 2002.
In photography, David Seaman has created Georgics – Cotton and Georgics – Tobacco, published by Publications PSI in 2002, which include portfolios of chiseled hypergraphic photographs of agriculture in Georgia, overlaid with Vergil’s text Georgica.
As a scholar of the poetic avant-garde, David Seaman has published numerous articles on Lettrism, including a chapter in his 1981 book, Concrete Poetry in France.