Ashley Hunt is an artist, writer and educator whose documentary and community-engaged artworks of the past two and a half decades have focused primarily on the U.S. prison system — its growth, ecologies, effects on communities, continuation of the U.S.’ genocidal histories, and its abolition. A recent fellow of the Art for Justice Fund, his works have included short and feature length documentaries, video installations, maps, performances, photography, and an experimental dance school: alongside collaborations with community organizations including Critical Resistance, the Underground Scholars, California Coalition for Women Prisoners, Release Aging People in Prison, Southerners on New Ground, Project South, Citizens for Quality Education, the Youth Justice Coalition, Mass Liberation Arizona, and Friends and Family of Louisiana’s Incarcerated Children. 

He recently exhibited his ten year photographic study of carceral landscapes, Degrees of Visibility (2010–20), within the Visualizing Abolition series at UC Santa Cruz’s Institute for Arts and Sciences; and his photography and writing series tracing prison histories through architecture, Hostile Territory (2016–23) for the 2023 Burren Annual of Burren College in Ireland. His film cycle on the closing of prisons, ruins and imaginaries includes Ashes Ashes (2020), commissioned for Nicole Fleetwood’s exhibition Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, Double Time (2021), and a forthcoming film on the repurposing of closed prisons across the U.S. as a meditation on historical and political grief. 

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.

Hunt is the recipient of the 2019 Creative Capital and Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, the 2018 Graham Foundation Exhibition Grant, and the 2015 California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists, among others. His works have shown in venues ranging from community centers to prisons to museums, including P.S.1/MoMA, the ASU Art Museum, Pitzer College Art Galleries, Project Row Houses, the Made in LA Biennial of Hammer Museum, the Tate Modern, Documenta 12, and Sinopale Biennial in Turkey, and Woodbourne State Correctional Institute in upstate New York and Green Haven State Prison in Indiana. His writings include the book, Notes on the Emptying of a City, and the forthcoming Degrees of Visibility, a series of nine free newspapers, and they have appeared in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice, X-TRA Contemporary Art Quarterly, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and multiple edited volumes on art and politics. He has taught in the Photo and Media Program of CalArts’ Art School since 2008, which he co-directed and directed from 2010–2019.

For full CV, please request it through the contact link