James A. Reeves is a writer, designer, and artist whose work examines 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.

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, Static, a fable about a very loud god.

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, Pratt Institute, and Parsons School of Design, and he was a 2022 Innovator-in-Residence at the American School in London.

“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

Classics

Music


Don't Save Us From the Flames
M83
BCD
Basic Channel
Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
Consumed
Plastikman
Fackeln im Sturm
Grungerman
Metal Box
Public Image Ltd
The Sacrificial Code
Kali Malone
Midnight Radio
Bohren & Der Club of Gore
3
Pole
A Million Miles to Earth
Richie Hawtin & Pete Namlook
More
The Disintegration Loops
William Basinski

Film


Michael Clayton
Tony Gilroy
Blade Runner
Ridley Scott
The Wailing
Na Hong-jin
The Talented Mr. Ripley
Anthony Minghella
Total Recall
Paul Verhoeven
In the Mood for Love
Wong Kar-Wai
Ex Machina
Alex Garland
Network
Paddy Chayefsky
Goodfellas
Martin Scorcese
Strange Days
Kathryn Bigelow
More
First Reformed
Paul Schrader
Casino
Martin Scorcese

Novels


The Woman in the Dunes
Kōbō Abe
Underworld
Don DeLillo
The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson
Money
Martin Amis
Oryx and Crake Trilogy
Margaret Atwood
The Memory Police
Yōko Ogawa
The Throwback Special
Chris Bachelor
The Terror
Dan Simmons
The North Water
Ian McGuire
Leave the World Behind
Rumaan Alam
More

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. In 2013, I adopted this name for my own constellation of personal landmarks, myths, and meditations.

Atlas Minor runs on a custom WordPress theme that I'm forever tuning, and the current typography is primarily IBM Plex. Much of my thinking on typesetting comes from Butterick's Practical Typography, and I occasionally dust off my Substack newsletter to share other items that influence me. (It's been dormant for a while because nobody needs more newsletters in their inbox, but this could change.)

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