James’s work is constituted through his abiding interest in histories of iconoclasm in which the social divisions and inequities that mark and delimit artistic practice are registered most emphatically. In James’ practice as an artist and as a writer, conventional aesthetic discourse is lost and rediscovered in neighboring fields such as topology or psychoanalysis; capitalist property relations are seen to exert as much determinative force on the visual field as phenomenological bodies; and theoretical materials are indistinct from physical ones in an incipient philosophy of materials. In his teaching, James incorporates a wide base of theoretical paradigms and experimental methodologies in order to examine the fullest extension of the field of art.
James was a founding member of Orchard, a cooperatively organized gallery in New York's Lower East side from 2005-2008, and is a founding editor, along with fellow artists Sam Lewitt and Cheyney Thompson, of Scorched Earth, a forthcoming journal devoted to questions concerning drawing. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe, including Portikus (Frankfurt), Kunstwerke (Berlin), The Institute of Contemporary Art (London), PS1 Center for Contemporary Art and the Museum of Modern Art (New York). He has had recent solo exhibitions at Galerie Christian Nagel, Köln; Franco Soffiantino Arte Contemporanea, Torino; and Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York.
His writing has been published in journals such as Artforum, Texte zur Kunst, Afterall, and Made in USA, and he has curated several exhibitions, including a traveling retrospective of the television and video works of Jean-Luc Godard. James' publications include "I said I love. That is the promise." (published by b-books (Berlin) and Oejiblikket (Copenhagen) 2003; and "... Ical Krbbr Prodly Prsnts Gart Jas, Jon Klsy, Josf Stra," published by Walther König (Köln) 2006.