Joshuah Jest is an architecturally trained designer and video artist whose work focuses on blurring the boundaries between the digital and physical worlds. Jest’s work synthesizes his architectural design background at Rice University (B.Arch) and Thomas Phifer and Partners (NYC) with his experience developing video installations, media facades, and digitally augmented objects at Urbanscreen (Bremen, Germany) and Geist (Houston, TX).
His current work implements and continues to explore the subject matter of his graduate thesis (“Fooling Ourselves: Topics and Design Strategies for Media Architecture, Integrated Media, and Composite Reality”) which was developed at MIT’s program in Art, Culture, and Technology from 2015 through 2018.
Jest’s growing body of work seeks to reverse the paradigm of immersion, wherein the viewer enters a virtual sensory landscape by leaving the real world partly behind. Instead, he wants emersion – for us to keep our feet firmly planted where they are, and allow the content of a video display to emerge into our space. Here, in our natural surroundings, information and synthetic images are not immediately dismissed by the mind as immaterial signals to be left to higher (and less essential) processing but are instead interpreted as indications of material consequence. Staged in this way, digital information and synthetic images can be perceived by a wider array of human senses and processed more deeply by the hindbrain, leading to deeper sympathy, emotional provocation, understanding, and retention of content. To achieve this effect, Jest’s wide range of works laminate various information display systems into works of architecture, installation, sculpture, and fashion.