Leon Johnson was born in Cape Town, South Africa, and left for the United States in 1979, three years after the murder of Steve Biko. Johnson conceives, researches, designs, and produces intermedia communications and events. These events include performances and interactive spectacles in multiple mediums, including installations, performance, video, and photography. Johnson is a recipient of the Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant for Painting and a Yaddo Fellowship, and he won both the Ersted Award for Distinguished Teaching and the Williams Fellowship for Distinguished Interdisciplinary Teaching at the University of Oregon. He lives in Detroit, and was the 2014 Martha Daniel Newell Distinguished Scholar at Georgia College, and a Bemis Center Fellow. He was a resident at the Wassaic Project in upstate NY and published a book project there in November 2016.