Ritual Fields is a collection of work by Candy Chang and James A. Reeves that envisions the future of ritual in an increasingly alienating world.

Candy Chang
candychang.com
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James A. Reeves
atlasminor.com
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For over a decade, Candy Chang and James A. Reeves have collaborated on public rituals to contemplate the human condition. Their installations have been exhibited at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City, the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, and the Mural Arts Program in Philadelphia. Inspired by the devotional images of religion, the ancient I Ching, and cyberpunk visions, they create public works that facilitate conversations about refuge in the modern world.

Chang and Reeves both grew up without religion or any spiritual practice. After personal tragedies, they felt unmoored and unequipped to deal with the emotional wreckage that followed. Drawing upon her background in urban planning, Chang began injecting introspective experiments into public space to seek emotional communion. After losing his parents, Reeves started to research and write about mourning, myth, and aesthetics. Through this work, they became more sensitive to the ways our visual culture damages our psyches in the service of commerce. They believe ritual can become a balm against distraction, as well as a feature of our streets and plazas that allows us to contemplate the fears and desires that bind us.

Trained as an architect, urban planner, and designer, Chang creates participatory art that examines the dynamics between society and the psyche. She is best known for creating Before I Die, a global participatory installation in over 5,000 cities that invites people to share their personal aspirations in public. Reeves is a writer, educator, and artist whose work addresses philosophy and ritual in the digital age; his first book, The Road to Somewhere: An American Memoir, was published by W. W. Norton. Together they have collaborated on interdisciplinary art projects in cities around the world, including New York, Hong Kong, New Orleans, Lisbon, Heraklion, and Los Angeles.


Exhibitions

Green-Wood Cemetery
Brooklyn, New York, 2021

The Mint Museum
Charlotte, North Carolina, 2021

Annenberg Space for Photography
Los Angeles, California, 2019

Rubin Museum of Art
New York, New York, 2018

Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum
New York, New York, 2016

Mural Arts Program
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2016

Residencies

Archipelago Artist Residency, Korpo, Finland (2019)

Hemera Foundation Tending Space Fellowship (2018)

NES Artist Residency, Skagaströnd, Iceland (2017)

Hangar Artist Residency, Lisbon, Portugal (2017)

Lakkos Artist Residency, Heraklion, Greece (2016)

Talks

Artist Talk: After the End
Green-Wood Cemetery
Brooklyn, New York
September 30, 2021

We Were Distracted: A Conversation about Ritual, Attention, and Public Space with Candy Chang, James A. Reeves, and de’Angelo Dia
The Mint Museum
Charlotte, North Carolina
June 2, 2021

Open Studio
Archipelago Artist Residency
Korpo, Finland
January 16, 2020

Exploring Mindful Living Through Public Art: An Evening with Sophia Bush, Candy Chang, and James A. Reeves
Annenberg Space for Photography
Los Angeles, California
December 14, 2019

The Powers of Hope and Anxiety: Candy Chang, James A. Reeves, and Dr. Tracy Dennis-Tiwary
Rubin Museum of Art
New York, New York
April 27, 2019

Artist Talk
Hangar Artist Residency
Lisbon, Portugal
March 31, 2017

Open Studio
NES Artist Residency
Skagaströnd, Iceland
February 27, 2017

Press

AdAge

The Associated Press

The Atlantic Brainpickings

CBS

CNN

NBC News

NPR

Oprah

Public Art Review

TED

Tricycle

Wired

Time


Ritual. Unlike a habit or routine, a ritual seeks communion with something greater than ourselves. For some of us, the only worthwhile ritual is one that cultivates a relationship with the otherworldly. For others, it might be a means of reckoning with yesterday or tomorrow, a way of communicating with the ones we’ve lost, or figuring out who we might become. A ritual can be a private act, a collective ceremony, or a cultural rite—it is a gesture that craves connection.

Fields. The field was the first canvas of civilization, marking the transition from nomadic life to permanent settlements. “The city of the dead,” wrote the historian Lewis Mumford, “is the forerunner, almost the core, of every living city.” As our burial fields led to crops, the field transformed us into citizens. It is the cultivation of nature, a source of sustenance, and a boundary for play and sport. The field is a zone that shapes our behavior.

If you’d like to commission a project, license an existing project, or collaborate in other ways, please get in touch with us.