How (not) to open a book
As an artist interested in the Midwestern landscape, I have come to think of native prairies and savannas as misread and mistreated books: opened for their contents without enough care for nuance of language or longevity. How (not) to open a book is a series of opened and altered "how to" books and containers on display at Clemens Library that explore this metaphor. With each book or object, I am using cutting, worrying, and warping of its interior to mine the resources it contains. As with a "how to study" book I shredded to show it being "digested" too quickly, I am attempting to make each book embody what it warns against. After all, the hardest part of environmental history to swallow is the fact that, whether from greed, foolishness, or good intentions, often our actions contradict our awareness and aspirations.
Melis, Rachel, "How (not) to open a book" (2011). Forum Lectures. 189.