I am an artist researcher who organizes narratives for equitable systems and liberatory processes. I work with those most directly connected to issues, organizations, academics, researchers, educators, students and artists. Together, we coproduce visuals, public installations, events, research tools, websites, writing, curriculum and workshops. The work I do is informed by a participatory action research orientation, but I also work alone, particularly when investigating historical texts. My work is deeply informed by studying the actions, theories and philosophy of those engaged in collective liberation across time and space, and is guided by a love of life and the interconnected nature of all things.
Evan Bissell facilitates participatory art and research projects that support equitable systems and liberatory processes. Projects take varied forms: an interactive online history of freedom and confinement in the United States told through 50 miniature paintings (knottedline.com), poster installations and community surveys about broken windows policing in the Bronx, and collaborative, life-size portrait paintings created with incarcerated fathers and children of incarcerated parents. Evan has exhibited at CUNY Graduate Center, on Alcatraz Island, at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Intersection for the Arts, and SOMArts, and facilitated projects in schools (K-12) and community settings throughout the country. He has taught in public school grades 6-12 and will teach a studio art course on art and social change at UC Berkeley during the Fall of 2016. Evan was an activist-in-residence at the Arcus Center for Social Justice Leadership at Kalamazoo College (2015), the first artist-in-residence at the American Cultures Engaged Scholar Program at UC Berkeley (2013), and was awarded a Headlands artist-in-residence (2013) and the Roselyn Lindheim fellowship (2015). He currently serves on the Advisory Board for the Allied Media Conference in Detroit. He compiled the first Health in All Policies report for the City of Richmond (2015) and worked as an artist/researcher with the Public Science Project at CUNY Graduate Center (2014-15). He received a master’s in Public Health and City Planning from UC Berkeley in May 2016 and is a firm believer in reading groups.
“The starting-point of critical elaboration is the consciousness of what one really is, and is ‘knowing thyself’ as a product of the historical process to date, which has deposited in you an infinity of traces, without leaving an inventory. Therefore it is imperative at the outset to compile such an inventory.”
Antonio Gramsci, The Prison Notebooks
evanbissell at gmail.com