Josh Urban Davis

What was the inspiration behind your artwork?

I was thinking about architecture. How all this design and planning is baked into forcing structures to support human connection. How once the bodies are gone, they’re suddenly lurching towards ruins. I started making them at the beginning of COVID quarantine, and they simultaneously were a way to occupy my mind during that lonely time, as well as process the world falling apart around us. It was so strange to be surrounded by such wondrous machines meant to connect us, but still desolately lonely. I was thinking about the structures in-between things. Buildings, machines, and even the virus’ ability to separate. All these machines wedged into places between people.

What do you see as the similarity between science and art? Why is science-art important in today's society?

Science and art are both tools of inquiry meant to pose and investigate questions. Often the results of creative inquiry bear more questions, further discourse, and propel cultural discussion. In this way, science and art are very similar. Where they digress is in their emphasis on reproducibility. Where science aims to be perpetually reproducible, the infinite potential of art often relies on the idiosyncratic cultural production of its creators. This, of course, isn’t always the case, especially in our technique-fetishist contemporary art culture, where the cult of newness chases cultural constructions from technique to technique in pursuit of new culture. But examining the differences between art and science is not what’s interesting here, but what they have in common. Art and science are both languages, complete with a history and context, for communicating and preserving ideas across distance and time. A touchstone for preserving what is useful and sublime.

Get to know the artist!

Josh Urban Davis is a PhD Candidate in Computer Sciences at Dartmouth.

Get in touch!

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Behind the scenes