Ongoing Matter: Democracy, Design and the Mueller Report

IRA vs. Black Lives, Anne H. Berry. Vol. 1, pp. 31–32 // African Americans were targeted
by the Internet Research Agency (IRA) as part of Russian efforts to undermine
American elections.

The Galleries at CSU are pleased to present Ongoing Matter: Democracy, Design and the Mueller Report for the Fall 2020 semester. We are excited to reopen to students and the public with this timely exhibition.

The United States presidential election of 2016 has emerged as one of the most consequential political moments in modern history. Though it is challenging to capture the depth and breadth of the election results, or the events leading up to and following election day, the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election, also known as the Mueller report, helps lay the foundation.

Despite the significance of the Mueller report, the dissemination of the report’s content, the general public’s interest in it, and the length, verbiage, and redactions create barriers to reading the entire document. As a result, the average American citizen may not have an informed sense of the gravity of our current political crisis, the effects on our democracy, and the security of our elections. It is more important than ever for Americans to grasp what has happened.

As designers who understand the power of words, we’ve taken the opportunity to bridge the gap between the public’s interest in the Mueller report and the public’s ability to access it. Consequently, we are bringing the Mueller report’s words to life in ways that are both informative and visually engaging, while holding true to the text of the report. Other than a timeline provided to help viewers understand the timing and sequence of events, all text and content comes verbatim from the Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election.

We hope this series of posters provides an entry point for learning about the significance of the Mueller report. More importantly, we want to see the project evolve and take on a life of its own, developing into a repository of design contributions—from creative professionals, educators, and students—that highlight content from the report.

The exhibition Ongoing Matter functions as a living showcase of current political artifacts. It documents the significance of this particular moment in time from the 2016 presidential election to the present. As graphic artists and designers, the collaborators in this project see their participation as a kind of emancipation: using the art of communication to reveal, inform, and propel viewers to action, thereby preserving democracy, protecting integrity, and sharing knowledge.

The Galleries at Cleveland State University gratefully acknowledge funding from the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at CSU, the Ohio Arts Council, Indiana University’s Arts and Humanities Council, the New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Program at Indiana University, Indiana University—Bloomington Grant-in-Aid Program, an anonymous donor, and contributions from CSU faculty, staff, and community supporters.


1307 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio 44115