decoys > cackling lovers

The word “gaggle” first appears in English in the 15th century as “gagyll,” referring to groups of geese and groups of cackling women. In Cackling Lovers, sound pieces composed of recordings of LGBTQ+ femmes laughing together are installed inside commercial goose decoys. These laughing decoys were then carried by participants during a group walk I led through the Fens in Boston. These “cackling geese” induced reciprocal laughter in the carriers and heightened curiosity towards the living geese encountered on our walk. Here, an object intended to lure living geese to their death (a hunting decoy) shifts into an object that inspires empathy towards the creatures it mimics. The reciprocal and collective laughter induced by these objects also provided healing in a site with an unsettling history. In addition to a place where humans and geese convene, The Fens is a location in Boston where a disproportionate amount of anti-queer violence has occurred. After the walk, the decoys are assembled into sculptures that serve as artifacts of the experience.

cackling lovers
mixed media (goose decoy, velvet gloves, steel, decoy cord, artificial flowers, ribbon, sound of femme laughter
72" x 49" x 15”
2020
cackling lovers
mixed media (goose decoy, velvet gloves, wood, decoy cord, sound of femme laughter)
2020