Zach Buckley is a composer and designer currently working at the intersection of virtual reality, game design, and music composition.
My current practice centers around the composition and design of music-led, virtual reality experiences. As a researcher, recent publications include IEEE VR 2019 and EVA London 2019. As a composer, recent commissions include podcasts The 1099 and Labor Bytes as well as stage productions of The House of Bernarda Alba and Harvey. I am currently developing The Water is Always Running, an interactive, virtual reality composition exploring the relationship between muzak, over-consumption, and labor.
In December 2019, I graduated from Illinois State University with a Master of Science in Creative Technologies. At ISU, I undertook coursework in UI/UX design, world building in virtual reality, interactive performance, and society and game theory - to name a few. Outside of the classroom, I co-organized several RSOs, including ATK Live (an event production RSO with an emphasis on developing professional skills for students) and Gen Games (a game development RSO focused on providing portfolio work for students through game making) as well as directing two music festivals and leading our Capoeira Angola club.
For my graduate assistantship, I worked at University Galleries of Illinois State University as part of a small team producing several large-scale exhibitions - first under the former Director, Barry Blinderman, and now the current Director and Chief Curator, Kendra Paitz. Over the last two years, I worked on over 20 exhibitions including solo exhibitions by national and international artists such as Ebony G. Patterson, william cordova, Basim Magdy, Bethany Collins, Cecil McDonald, Jr., and Aram Han Sifuentes.
In 2019, I produced a new interactive artwork for New York-based Irish artist and filmmaker, Jonah King. All My Friends Are In The Cloud/Harvest Gyre is a combination 3D-scanner/interactive sculpture and a cloud-based archive and video sculpture. The work examines the contradictions of connection in an age when human intimacy is often at odds with our “always-on” digital realities. I led a team of developers and builders through several design iterations through the development cycle. I also curated a corresponding exhibition at University Galleries.
I'm a tireless collaborator. In the last few years, I've worked professionally in museums archiving and curating, designing sound on Michigan Avenue, writing columns for TCGplayer, marketing for a food co-op, and creating brands for small businesses.