Through the activation of public spaces around the world, Taiwanese-American artist Candy Chang creates work that examines the dynamics between society and the psyche, the threshold between isolation and community, and the ways shared places can cultivate reflection, perspective, and kinship among strangers. Her Before I Die participatory public art project has been created in over 2,000 cities around the world. She is interested in the relationship between public space and mental health, the tension between individual liberty and social cohesion, and a city that exposes and fosters the complexity of the individual and collective psyche. Candy Chang received a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University, as well as a B.S. in Architecture and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design from the University of Michigan. Her work has been exhibited in the Venice Architecture Biennale, New Museum, Tate Modern, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. She lives in New Orleans.
James A. Reeves is a writer and educator whose fiction and essays examine dignity, beauty, and myth in the digital age. After the death of his parents, he began researching and writing about grief, and he recently collaborated with the artist Candy Chang on a mural in Greece called Grief Is a Beast That Will Never Be Tamed. Trained as a graphic designer, his work often addresses the relationship between the image and philosophy. His first book, The Road to Somewhere: An American Memoir, was published by W. W. Norton. His second book, The Manufactured History of Indianapolis, explores the mythology of the city. Since 2004, he has taught courses in philosophy, the history of art, and the politics of design at Bard Early College, Parsons School of Design, and Pratt Institute.