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Chris Reilly

office406C Sherzer
office hours

Winter, 2018:

Tuesdays & Thursdays 2:00-5:00 Fridays: 12:00-4:00 (On-Line)

book appointments at

personal website
personal website


Chris Reilly is a Detroit-area artist, hacker and teacher. Chris holds a MFA from UCLA’s School of the Arts and Architecture. Working individually and collaboratively, his artwork explores telepresence, relationships, physical subjectivity and community building with media including games, performances, relational objects, robots, and open-source hardware/software projects. Chris has shown artwork in solo and group art exhibitions in the US, Europe and Asia. Recent shows include the Intimate Instruments workshop at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; a public installation at Zero1 Biennial in San Jose, CA; and collaborative projects in Hong Kong’s Microwave International New Media Arts Festival; the Open Hardware Summit in New York City; World Maker Faire in NYC; and SIGGRAPH in Los Angeles. Along with collaborator Taylor Hokanson, Chris is a co-founder of the DIYLILCNC project, an online community based around open-source designs for a low cost, easy-to-build digital fabrication device. His works have been profiled in Make Magazine, Wired Magazine, and Punk Planet, and Chris has published art texts in Geez Magazine. He has taught New Media and Digital Fabrication courses at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as authoring 3D animation courses for

Artist Statement

Artist, Teacher, Hacker. These are the core roles in my artistic practice.
I’m interested in art that involves mediated participation and/or relationships. My artwork spans a spectrum of relationships: with my own body; intimate interpersonal relationships with family or partners; collaborative relationships with other artists and makers; relationships with the specific groups and/or with the general public.
I take influence from relational artists of the ‘70s & ‘80s: Lygia Clark, Marina Abramovic and Ulay; or performance such as Vito Acconci and Dan Graham. Relational art is still exciting and new given a thriving vernacular use of media in contemporary relationships. Almost everyone in an urban setting is walking around with a relational object (i.e, a cell phone) in a pocket or purse.
I make artwork for different places, for different audiences. Some for/in a public gallery; some privately performed for myself or a specific audience; some public on the internet; some in workshops or classroom-like places; some a mix of all these. Similarly, my teaching practice exists inside academic institutions and a range of other contexts including hackerspaces, art galleries, and online venues.
Hacking is a good way to talk about doing things the wrong way. Hacking is looking critically at rule systems and creating, subverting or playing with them. In a broad sense, hacking is about games, play and performance. I’m interested in games and rules in the context of art, and using those systems as ways to propagate a premise, giving people agency and incentives to act.