4 Dedications, By Type and Narrative, as Suggested in the Photographs of Catherine Lord.

Teresa Carmody

Queer Is...

1. John Cage, To Whom It May Concern

Type: A Dedication to the Reader(s)

Narrative: John Cage was really into outlines. He outlined almost everything, sometimes using the standard Roman numeral and letter format, sometimes using a system of hand-drawn images. One of these image-outlines began with a small picture of an oak tree, followed by its lobed leaf, followed by its acorn. The outline moved through a maple, elm, and pine—tree by tree, leaf to needle, seed and cone. He once outlined everything in his apartment until he had a working forest. It was right before a move, and he wanted an organized system to map out the new place. He also made outlines of non-botanical objects. He would lie a pair of scissors, a mug, a fork, his glasses or whatever flat on a piece of paper and trace its edges. He outlined more smaller objects than larger ones, primarily because they fit more easily on a sheet of paper, but he outlined numerous big things as well: a sofa, the bedside table, a friend’s truck. For these, he used adjoining sheets of paper, or vacant lots.

Teresa Carmody is the author of Requiem (Les Figues). She is also the author of several chapbooks: I Can Feel (Insert Press), Eye Hole Adore (PS Books), and the chapbook Your Spiritual Suit of Armor by Katherine Anne (Woodland Editions). She is a co-founding editor of Les Figues Press, and the co-editor of its anthology I’ll Drown My Book: Conceptual Writing By Women (2012). She is currently pursuing a PhD in English/Creating Writing at the University of Denver.

This work was commissioned for Suggested Reading, an exhibition of visual art inspired by specific literary techniques, curated by Kristine Thompson, Fellows of Contemporary Art (FoCA) Gallery, Los Angeles, July-September 2011. "4 Dedications..." appeared in a limited-edition catalogue that accompanied the show.