James A. Reeves is a writer, designer, and artist whose work examines the role of ritual and faith in the digital age. He frequently collaborates with the artist Candy Chang on installations that introduce new rituals into public space, most recently After the End in the historic chapel at Green-Wood Cemetery, which was a critic’s pick in The New York Times. More of their projects can be found at Ritual Fields.

After traveling 50,000 miles along the back roads of America, his first book, The Road to Somewhere: An American Memoir, was published by W. W. Norton. His second book, The Manufactured History of Indianapolis, is a collection of myths and urban legends about the city. He is currently finishing his first novel, Riot and Devotion, a fable about a very loud god. In 2020, he wrote a post each night of that awful year.

His short stories have appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn and Heavy Feather Review, and his work has been exhibited in the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Rubin Museum of Art, the Mint Museum, and the Annenberg Space for Photography. James has also taught graduate and undergraduate courses in philosophy, the history of art, and the politics of design at Bard Early College and Pratt Institute. He currently teaches at Parsons School of Design.

“Memorial art works are notoriously difficult to pull off. Yet Candy Chang and James A. Reeves, two New York artists who have created similar installations in the past, hit just the right tone with After the End, a participatory work in the Historic Chapel at Green-Wood Cemetery.” The New York Times

“Through his photographs and candid, episodic storytelling, Reeves documents his experiences and the people he encounters in various regions of the United States, reflecting with uncommon honesty on both positive and negative aspects of the culture. Reeves’s obsession with driving long distances in rental cars is fuelled by his search to figure out what it means to be an adult and to live a meaningful life in a complicated world. His unique point of view clearly comes through in both his writing and images—quirky, beautiful, disturbing, humorous, and at times unexpectedly and achingly moving.” Photo Life

“The inspiration is so simple: Head out at random into America and see what you find. James A. Reeves found the America no one seems to be looking for anymore, and he also found himself.” Roger Ebert

“A tantalizing 21st century cross between James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, this remarkable and utterly original memoir heralds the arrival of a new and important American voice. James A. Reeves’s The Road to Somewhere will take you places you will not easily forget.” Andre Dubus III

Annenberg Space for Photography
Los Angeles, California
Green-Wood Cemetery
Brooklyn, New York
Mint Museum
Charlotte, North Carolina
Rubin Museum of Art
New York, New York

Margaret Atwood

Kazuo Ishiguro

Hilary Mantel

Dan Simmons

P.D. James

Alan Moore

Neal Stephenson

William Gibson

Notes on ritual. Dispatches from the archives. Snapshots of melancholy gas stations. Reverberated soundtracks. Searching for faith in the digital age.
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In 1537, the cartographer Gerardus Mercator published twenty-one maps of the world which, for the first time, rendered the globe as a flat surface to aid nautical navigation. Mercator titled his work Atlas as a tribute to the legendary North African king who created the first celestial globe. Although the word is now primarily associated with geography, Mercator intended his atlas to encompass the creation, history, and purpose of the universe. After his death, the Atlas Minor was published as a portable (and cheaper) version of Mercator’s large broadsheets. It was one of the last maps to feature sea monsters. I’ve adopted this name for my own constellation of personal landmarks, myths, and meditations.