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The Knotted Line

The Knotted Line (knottedline.com) is an interactive, tactile laboratory for exploring the historical relationship between freedom and confinement in the geographic area of the United States. With miniature paintings of over 50 historical moments from 1495-2025, The Knotted Line asks: how is freedom measured? Just as importantly, The Knotted Line imagines a new world through the work of grassroots movements for self-determination.

The project includes a free curriculum developed with educators across the country. The Knotted Line has been presented in gallery formats at numerous venues including Alcatraz Island and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, talks and workshops including at the American Studies Association Annual Gathering and the Allied Media Conference, and in educational residencies at high schools, middle schools and colleges (UC Berkeley, USC, Kalamazoo College among others).

Project Team

Evan Bissell - Director, Painting, Curriculum, Research
Erik Loyer - Design and Programming
Tanya Orellana - Research
Lisa Nowlain - Research
Josh Begley - Additional Concept Design
Content management by Scalar, a project of the Alliance for Networking Visual Culture
Ora Wise - Curriculum

The Knotted Line was made possible through the generous support of:

Panta Rhea Foundation
East Bay Community Foundation
United States Artists Projects
Numerous individual donors