Memos for Research 

Memos for Research was on display at The Ohio State University Fine Arts Library during the spring semester of 2020. 

These banners hang as reminders, or memos, as research is conducted in the library. They prompt us to consider that there is always something left out as we read pages of history and collect information from the books before us. They remind us that our knowledge is always being built and rebuilt. They challenge us to recognize that there is not just one answer to the questions we ask in this space.  

Approach with Respect  is the memo for all beginnings, or the present. As we enter research this memo is a reminder that the land that we stand on was not always ours. We must make space to remember its history and consider those who lived here before us. This banner is also an abstracted map of Columbus, a translation of all the locations where the Hopewell and Adena earthworks once stood before the majority were erased or removed. We must ask ourselves to approach these places with respect. 

Maps Lie is the memo for all that has preceded us, or the past. As we review any document, such as the map, we are reminded that every map could be remade with the same data in infinite ways, and is in essence subjective. When we conduct research we must open our minds to multiple perspectives and genealogies that surround our work. This banner is also a map, and therefore a self-reflexive liar. Each point marks one of the diverse contemporary religious, spiritual, or sacred gathering sites in the city of Columbus (as listed on Google). Many are most likely missing or incorrectly copied.  

Landscape is Not Static is the memo for all that is possible in front of us, or the future. Our research, conversations, and knowledge of history are always evolving. Our research builds off who came before us, what we read in books by people who are long gone, but we are allowed to challenge what we they wrote and imagine new futures. As time moves forward, nothing is permanent. The banner also acts as a map, a translation of all the locations of the cemeteries and burial grounds that are currently maintained inColumbus, spaces where things are buried and growing simultaneously.  

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