My work implements emerging technologies as tools for self expression. I use computers, phones, monitors, cameras, drones, sensors, virtual / mixed reality headsets, networks, machine learning, and spaces as interactive canvases. With these tools I explore the conceptual context and aesthetic depth of new media art.
Recently, my emphasis has been in experimenting with virtual, augmented, and mixed reality as emerging art forms. Mixed reality is the combination of simulated content with the physical world. I work with the Microsoft Hololens and the Magic Leap, the only mixed reality headsets that currently exist. Both headsets are developer models intended for creatives to investigate their possibilities. These technologies exist on the frontier of a new generation of art exploration. Just like the camera changed painting, extended reality will change what we experience and define as art. My work embraces this relatively unknown territory as an opportunity for discovery. It uses these devices to pioneer a new arc in the trajectories of art, technology, and innovation.
Reilly Donovan (American, born 1984 in Seattle, WA ) is a new media artist working with emerging technologies to create interactive installations, virtual reality artworks, augmented reality exhibits, and mixed reality experiences.
Donovan’s work explores how computer simulations, machine learning, and interactive environments challenge the boundaries of our senses. His work examines how machines are molding our future, changing our culture, and confronting our perceptions of reality.
From 2010 – 2013 Donovan was the lead assistant to the new media artist Gary Hill where he helped deploy a variety of new media projects throughout the United States and Western Europe. From 2015 – present, Donovan has exhibited nationally and internationally, including: Design Basel in Switzerland; Currents International New Media Festival in Santa Fe, NM; Seattle Art Fair; Out Of Sight; 9e2; The Paseo Project in Taos, NM; Mystic Seaport Maritime Museum in Connecticut; The Anchorage Museum in Alaska; and Bellwether in Bellevue, WA. Donovan started working in virtual reality with the first generation Oculus and has continued to explore every emerging extended reality platform since then, including: the HTC Vive, the Microsoft Hololens, and more recently the Magic Leap. In 2018, Donovan was an Artist in Residence at Pilchuck Glass School where he experimented with the intersection of glass and mixed reality. Donovan recently collaborated with the artist John Grade to exhibit a mixed reality installation at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut and the Anchorage Museum in Alaska where the two combined physical and digital content into one immersive experience.
CEO, Hot Bit Soup LLC
Cornish College of the Arts 2007
BFA in Video, Photography, Sculpture
The Northwest School 2004
High School Diploma
Hot Bit Soup LLC, Founder, CEO
Creative firm specializing in experience design for interactive installations, VR, & AR.
Cornish College of the Arts
Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality Adjunct Professor
Teacher of a course for juniors and seniors in emerging technology, augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality for commercial and artistic contexts.
A company founded by Joe Gray and Reilly Donovan in 2015 that specializes in interactive design for commercial and contemporary art installations. Installations include: Block Haus collaboration with Olson Kundig for Design Basel, Basel Switzerland, 2015; Her Brain On Digital fashion event for Refinery 29, Microsoft, and HBO in New York, 2015; The Ripple Effect for Microsoft One Note & Possible in State College PA, 2015.
Gary Hill Studios
Animator / Technician / Lead Assistant
Manage projects, provide technical assistance, shoot, edit, and post-production for a variety of art installations, including: The Barbara Gladstone Gallery, NY, 2011; The Donald Young Gallery, Chicago, 2011; The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, 2012; Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Vigo, Vigo, Spain, Feb. 2012; DNA Gallery, Berlin, Germany, April 2012; InSitu, Paris, France, September 2012; LaBorel ,Gijon, Spain, Oct. 2012; Opera de Lyon, March 2013; Casa d’Oro, Le Mas-d’Azil, France, May 2013; Fringe Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland, August 2013; San Diego Library, San Diego, CA, 2013.
4Culture Art & Technology Grant
Pilchuck School of Glass, Stanwood, WA
2014 – Present
Cornish College of the Arts @ iEti (institute for emerging technology and intermedia) artist in resident
Mirror Symmetry, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA
Conformation, Paseo Project, Taos, NM
Murmur,Collaboration with John Grade, Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, AK
Mind @ Large, Currents New Media, Santa Fe, NM
Murmur, Collaboration with John Grade, Mystic, CT
Mind @ Large, Interstitial Gallery, Seattle, WA
Murmur, Collaboration with John Grade, Anchorage, AK
SAM Remix, Seattle, WA
Seattle Art Fair, Collaboration with John Grade, Seattle, WA
Out Of Sight, Seattle, WA
Currents New Media, Collaboration with Cory Metcalf and David Stout, Santa Fe, NM
SAM Lights, Seattle, WA
9e2, Collaboration with Cory Metcalf and David Stout, King St Station, Seattle, WA
Erasure, ArtHackDay, Seattle, WA
29 Rooms, Bushwick, NY
CoCa Pop Up, CoCa, Seattle, WA
Currents New Media Festival, Santa Fe, NM
Giant Steps, Collaboration with Brandon Aleson, King St Station, Seattle, WA
Brane Xels, Dendroica Gallery, Seattle, WA
Blockhaus, Collab with Olson Kundig & Joe Gray, Design Basel, Basel, Switzerland