Ashley Hunt is interested in how images, objects, maps, writing and performance can engage social ideas and actions, including those of social movements, daily life, the exercise of political power, and the disciplinary boundaries that separate our art worlds from the larger worlds in which they sit. His work looks to structures that allow people to accumulate power, and those which keep others from getting it, while learning from the ways people come to know, contribute to or resist these structures. Rather than seeing art and activism as two exclusive spheres of practice, he approaches them as mutual and complimentary — drawing upon the ideas and aesthetics of social movements, cultural theory and art alike, the theorizing and practices of each informing the other.

His current project, Degrees of Visibility, is a large body of landscape photographs from throughout the fifty U.S. states and territories, documenting spaces in which prisons sit from publicly available points of view — looking at how prisons are presented and camouflaged within our everyday perception, forming a part of an aesthetics of mass incarceration.

Other works include the performance and book, Notes on the Emptying of a City, a dismantled film that recounts his time in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; Communograph, a multi-platform project with Project Row Houses in Houston; the ongoing collaboration with taisha paggett, On Movement, Thought and Politics; the collaborative 9 Scripts from a Nation at War, produced for documenta 12 with Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Katya Sander and David Thorne; and the Corrections Documentary Project, the ongoing body of work addressing the aesthetics and politics of prison expansion and mass incarceration in the U.S., including ten video works, photographic works and mappings that span sixteen years of research, production and organizing.

Recent exhibitions and performances include Cue Art Foundation, Threewalls Gallery in Chicago, The Kitchen in New York, the 2012 Made in L.A. Biennial of the Hammer Museum, Sinopale 4 biennale in Sinop, Turkey, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Modern in London, Woodbourne State Correctional Institute in upstate New York, Putnamville Correctional Institution in Indiana, and numerous grassroots and community venues throughout the U.S. Recent writing has appeared in X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly (2014), Native Strategies issue 4 (2014), Shifter Magazine #20 (2013).

Hunt co-directs the Program in Photography and Media at California Institute of the Arts and is on the faculty of the Visual Arts MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Arts.




2015 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists
2012 Hyde Park Art Center Residency, Chicago, IL
2010–11 Visual Artists Network Exhibition Residency, through the National Performance Network and Project Row Houses
2009 Durfee Artist Resource Completion Grant, with Taisha Paggett
2007 BAK Center for Contemporary Arts, Research-In-Residence, Utrecht, NL
2007 New York Foundation for the Arts, Swing Space Fellowship
2006–07 Fellow of the Vera List Center for Art & Politics
2002 Ford Foundation, Social Justice Grant for Independent Media Production
2001 Public Welfare Foundation, Independent Media Distribution Grant
1999 John Quincy Adams Fellowship, Art Institute of Chicago
1997 John Dales Fund Scholarship, Screen Actors Guild of America


2000 Whitney Independent Study Program, Whitney Museum of American Art
1998 Masters of Fine Art, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
1994 Bachelors of Fine Art, University of California at Irvine


School for the Movement of the Technicolor People, with taisha paggett and Kim Zumpfe, Diverseworks, Houston, and at Fusebox Festival, Austin

Performances of Notes on the Emptying of a City, Danish Royal Academy of Art, Copenhagen and Watkins College, Nashville
School for the Movement of the Technicolor People, with taisha paggett and Kim Zumpfe, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, curated by Robert Crouch

Kalamazoo College Art Gallery and Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership, Kalamazoo, Michigan, Exhibition and Commission
Blackout (with Taisha Paggett), Threewalls Gallery, Chicago 

Tyler University Art Gallery, Philadelphia
9 Scripts from a Nation at War, Museum of Modern Art, New York (collaboration with Andrea Geyer, Sharon Hayes, Katya Sander and David Thorne)

Communograph, Project Row Houses, Houston


Inside/Outside: Prison Narratives, 
Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey College, curated by Rebecca Trawick

To Shoot a Kite, Cue Art Foundation, curated by Yaelle Amir
I see in the sea nothing except the sea. I don’t see a shore, Camera Club New York, curated by Heather M. O’Brien
IK-00. Spaces of Confinement, curated by Katerina Chuchalina, Casa dei Tre Oci Giudecca, Venice, Italy

Within, Curated by Chloë Flores, Art Gallery at Cypress College, Cypress, CA
Maintenance Required, The Kitchen/Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

Sinopale 4, Biennale in Sinop, Turkey
Made in L.A. 2012: Los Angeles Biennial, Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA


The Bindery Project, Minneapolis

Live Arts Festival, Philadelphia
Arika Performance Festival, Glasgow, Scotland

The New Museum, New York
Performa Biennial of Performance, Museum of Modern Art, New York


“School for the Movement of the Technicolor People,” Exhibition and Course Catalogue, 2015
“Dispersions,” interview with Ashley Hunt and Taisha Paggett, Native Strategies, Issue 4, 2014
“Anywhere and Everywhere: Translating Captivity,” To Shoot a Kite Exhibition Catalogue, Cue Art Foundation, 2014
Book review of Lane Relyea’s Your Everyday Artworld, X-tra Contemporary Art Quarterly, 2014
“Dictatorship of an Audience,” The Second World Congress of Free Artists, 2013
“Treacherous Teachery and Arting and Art School,” written with Malene Dam, Shifter Magazine, 2013


Anthony Downey, Art & Politics Now, Published by Thames and Hudson, 2014
Chloë Flores, Within, 2013
Abigail Satinsky, Bad at Sports, “Social Practice Art’s Identity Crisis,” 2011
Eleanor Hartney, Art in America, 2010
Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times, 2009
Ian White, Afterall, 2008
Julia Bryan-Wilson, Art Forum, October 2007


For full CV, please request it through the contact link