In July 2011, Lexicon made its debut during the collaborative performance, Poemophone, in Portland, OR, created by Tracey Cockrell.
In this performance, the words of the fourth stanza of e.e. cummings' poem, LVII or "somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond" were fabricated out of plywood and made into individual brooches. Participants were offered brown envelopes with the words tucked inside. They were then instructed to wear the words and to physically create sentences or phrases. After a reasonable amount of time, the poem was read in its entirety, audience members realizing their relationship to a larger, unified whole.
Words have substance and power, their meaning changing depending on the word next to or the context in which the word is placed. e.e. cummings' poem is obliterated while new poems take shape.
Surprising was the interaction between the person wearing the word and the word itself. Those that received what was considered a "more interesting word" such as texture or world felt more significant than those who received what was perceived as a less significant word such as of or and. Because they were now "wearing the words", individuals embodied this sense of significance or lack their of in their body language and demonstrated enthusiasm to participate. What was overlooked was the very importance of the "little words" to make the phrases understandable.