Jemison focuses her research on examples of alternative literacies - expressed through letters, words, and sounds, written in books, or found in archives - practiced by Black Americans from slavery to the present day, exploring the ways in which material language can become abstracted when it exists outside of fixed meanings or can resist being silenced by dominant power structures.
The signs and drawings depicted in this series of work derives from the unsolved case of Ricky McCormick. McCormick was found in a Missouri field in 1999 with encrypted notes in his pockets. McCormick was thought by his parents to be illiterate and his notes, as well as his murder, remain yet unsolved. Here, Jemison works with an enlarged section of McCormick’s notes and uses artificial intelligence algorithms to speculatively fill missing material in the image, producing a repetitive, layered final picture.