James A. Reeves is a writer and designer. He's worked in gas stations, run a record label, was a partner at a design agency, and did a brief stint in law school before deciding he did not want a life of conflict. 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. He frequently collaborates with the artist Candy Chang on installations that introduce new rituals into public space, most recently After the End, a critic’s pick in The New York Times.

James has 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, where he is an assistant professor. He was a 2022 Innovator-in-Residence at the American School in London, and he is the founder and creative director of Design/Context.

He's lived and worked in New York City, Helsinki, Philadelphia, Lisbon, New Orleans, London, and Las Vegas before settling down for a while in Columbus, Ohio.

“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
“Memorial artworks 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.”
“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.”

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