Joshuah Jest is an architecturally-trained, MIT-educated designer, director, artist, and pioneer of mixed reality. His growing body of projection-based installation and sculptural works focus on blurring the perceptual boundaries between digital and physical environments and encourages viewers to keep their feet firmly planted in reality to allow the virtual to emerge into a shared space. His original and meticulous approach to integrating video with various physical forms allows audiovisual content to resonate with a wider array of human senses, leading to deeper sympathy, emotional provocation, understanding, and retention of artistic significance.
Jest's practice draws on his architectural design background (Thomas Phifer and Partners, NYC; Rice University, B.Arch) and experience developing video installations, media facades, and digitally augmented objects (MIT/Harvard, Cambridge, MA; Urbanscreen, Bremen, Germany). His current work continues to explore the subject matter of his graduate thesis, "Fooling Ourselves: Topics and Design Strategies for Media Architecture, Integrated Media, and Composite Reality ", developed at MIT’s program in Art, Culture, and Technology from 2015 to 2018.
In 2020, Jest became the first resident artist at SEISMIQUE, an interactive art museum in Houston, Texas, where he currently maintains, experiments with, and curates third-party artist content for four unique, permanent mixed-reality installations.
Jest’s growing body of artwork seeks to invert the paradigm of immersion, wherein the viewer enters a virtual sensory landscape ( VR ) by leaving the real world partly behind. Instead of immersive experiences, he wants emersive experiences – for us to keep our feet firmly planted where they are, and allow the content of a video display to emerge into our space ( AR / MR / XR ). Here, in our natural surroundings, virtual images and sounds are not immediately dismissed as illusions, but are instead taken as serious indicators of potential material consequence by our most primal instincts. 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 explore and achieve these effect, Jest’s wide range of works laminate various information display systems into works of architecture, installation, sculpture, and fashion.