Grand Dessein 3

Lillian-Yvonne Bertram

By Lillian-Yvonne Bertram and commissioned by the late Jenni Baker for Container ( as part of their Multitudes series, Grand Dessein is a Rolodex card file repurposed into a meditation on the poetics of “found-ness”. The 280 cards create a recursive surreal juxtaposition of found poems and poetics from the diaries of Paul Klee on the nature of art and writing. The cards also include cut out segments of sketches from the diaries; discarded photographs found in a box on a street in Baltimore; Ikea furniture assembly instructions; the author’s own poems, and found wallpaper scraps. Some text on the cards is handwritten and others are stamped using letter stamps and ink. The individual paper cards were then dipped in melted beeswax, completing the piece’s overall handmade feel and unique aroma. Grand Dessein was acquired by the Special Collections library of St. Lawrence University. These NFT gifs represent the “flipping through” of this 1-of-1 card file and feature select images of the cards.

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Featured in POÈME SBJKT, an exhibition of works of literature both on and off the blockchain that enhance, reinvent, and reimagine the relationship between text and image, analog and digital, blurring and challenging the lines that seek to divide.

POÈME SBJKT was curated by theVERSEverse in partnership with L’Avant Galerie Vossen and took place at Librairie Métamorphoses from May 25 – July 15, 2023.