Scott Hocking was born in Redford Township, Michigan in 1975, and has lived and worked in Detroit City since 1996. He creates site-specific installations, sculptures, photography and video projects, often using found materials and neglected locations. Inspired by subjects ranging from ancient mythologies to current events, his artworks focus on transformation, ephemerality, chance, the cycles of nature and patterns of human behavior through time.
He is left-handed and wears contact lenses. He has a speech impediment and was once hypnotized in an effort to correct this. He is a Pisces, born on the day of creative isolation, in the week of the loner and the year of the cat. A psychic once told him he would have an average life and die at 88. He does not know how to roller-skate, ice skate, ski or drive a stick shift. He is a percussionist and can play the glockenspiel part in Jupiter from Holst’s Planets suite. He can read palms. He grew up on a dirt road, near a railroad track with a dog named Bubba who sometimes slept on the kitchen table. In elementary school, a visiting barnyard turkey took a shit on his head. At 19, he lived in a Toyota Corolla for 4 months. At 27, he lived in a chateau in France for 2 months. He has 4 tattoos. He is a 6 of spades. He is the number 11. He has been to 42 US states. He once hiked the Death Valley dunes on a 117°F day, which led to the sheriff telling him: “Son, people die in the desert.” He’s been stalked by a New Mexican mountain lion. He’s slept on a Toronto billboard. He’s eaten reindeer in Akureyri, deep-fried honeybees in Shanghai, kangaroo in Illaroo and grasshoppers in Oaxaca. His childhood nickname was Scooter. He’s a 6th generation Detroiter, descended from Polish immigrants and a long line of Cornish copper miners who settled in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Two dogs have bitten him in his life: Once on the right calf, once above the right eye. He has been arrested 6 times and accumulated more traffic tickets than anyone you know.
Over the past 27 years, Hocking has created over 40 large-scale sculptural installations and public artworks, received 22 awards, fellowships and residency grants, participated in over 150 exhibitions, and exhibited at dozens of museums and public institutions worldwide, including the Van Abbemuseum, the Kunst-Werke Institute, Kunsthalle Wien, the Gare St Sauveur of Lille, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Smart Museum of Art, the School of the Art Institute Chicago, the ASU Art Museum, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts Museum, the Mattress Factory Art Museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cranbrook Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU and the University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities.
He has received awards such as a Joan Mitchell Foundation Artist Fellowship, a Kresge Artist Fellowship, a Knight Arts Challenge Grant and an Efroymson Contemporary Arts Fellowship, as well as residency grants in France, Iceland, Australia, Canada, Brazil and throughout the US. Most recently, Hocking was commissioned to create a permanent public sculpture in the city of Bihać, Bosnia & Herzegovina in early 2024, as well as a public sculpture in Detroit’s Palmer Park in the summer of 2024 and he exhibited his site-specific installation “The Secrets of Nature” at Central Michigan University.