I made the I (heart) FOUND POEMS badges in 2003, as part of a set of intentionally quite personal and fairly obscure designs. It refers specifically to Bern Porter's wonderful "Found Poems" book (Something Else Press, 1972) and also more generally to the concept of Found Poetry. Alec Finlay bought a pack of these badges as a gift for his dad, Ian Hamilton Finlay, who he thought would be highly amused by the I (heart) FOUND POEMS design!
As research for this badge set I re/read
Silence, John Cage, 1961.
For The Birds, John Cage, 1981.
John Cage:Writer, ed. Richard Kostelanetz, 1993.
Conversing with Cage, ed. R. Kostelanetz, 1988. 'Conversing with Cage' is my favourite, it's a masterful cut-up and reassembling of 80+ interviews with Cage. I bought my copy in 1990 at Compendium bookshop, Camden High Street and boldly rubberstamped 'Read and Destroy' on the first page. I also like it because my friend Mark Bloch appears a couple of times asking questions, these are taken from an interview conducted in 1987, when he visited Cage's apartment to record the noisy plumbing and dripping tap.


In 2008 I got a hankering for a classic denim shirt, western-style with press stud buttons, the kind that Army & Navy stores have always sold, but all I could find in London were some redesigned and overpriced versions. When in New York in November 2008 for the Art Book Fair I went straight to Dave's 6th Avenue (16th & 17th) they had exactly what I wanted, Classic Wrangler denim shirts for just $26. I bought two. I wasn't really sure why, but for some reason I associated this type of garment with John Cage, subsequent Google Image research shows that he had a predilection for denim work shirts and overshirts.

The tradition of Prepared Pianos continues with Jennifer Allora & Guillermo Calzadilla's 2008 work 'Stop, Repair, Prepare.' This piece comprises of a grand piano with a hole carved through it, in which the performer stands, leaning over the keyboard to play Beethoven's Ode to Joy, fingering the keys upside down and backwards whilst gradually manoeuvring the piano through the performance space.
The genesis of this badge set was the I (heart) SILENCE design that I sketched out whilst working on ideas for a ( still forthcoming) series of badges about the simple pleasures and mundane delights of everyday life. On re-viewing these designs it was immediately obvious to me that the I (heart) SILENCE design also referred directly to John Cage's work and I realised that he deserved a series of badges dedicated his work and ideas.
I saw John Cage read 'Empty Words Part 4 (1973-74)' at a 'Spoken Music Concert' on February 6th 1990 at the Paula Cooper Gallery in Soho, New York. My strongest memory is of Cage's elegant concentration and the impish glint in his eyes when he glanced up at the audience during some of the longer silences in his reading. The evening also included contributions by Dick Higgins, Jackson MacLow, Anne Tardos. and some godawful dancers.


John Cage's Edible Drawings are three suites of 12 x 14" sheets of handmade paper produced between 1989-91. These papers contain edible plants collected in the wild, from a macrobiotic health food store and from his Chinatown herbalist. Recipes for the papers were determined by using the I-Ching and the Edible Drawings could in theory be recycled as food. I saw the Edible Drawings in a 1993 exhibition at Anthony D'Offay's small gallery at 9 Dering Street, London and was impressed by such a direct, uncompromising approach to papermaking and especially liked the paper containing mushrooms!

Merce Cunningham. Died Today. 26 July 2009.
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