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OFFF 2012 — Joshua Davis

Joshua Davis is no stranger to the OFFF Festival series. This year incredibly being the tenth occasion he has taken to the stage. Little wonder then that he was invited to live draw (shown above) an artwork in front of the 3,500 visitors over the event’s three days.

If you don’t know him, Davis rose to prominence in the late 90s under the Praystation moniker and was a pioneer of programmatic, generative design, created mainly in Flash.

Before his talk, having not seen much of him since those days, I questioned whether his work was really still relevant, but I had him pegged wrong.

Despite not being a huge fan of his aesthetic, from the first moment of his talk, ‘Beyond Play’ I couldn’t help but be won over — his enthusiasm for what he does is boundless and pulls you on side.

Tropism poster

He’s very much an experimental artist — mixing digital and analogue techniques to produce works based on things he encounters in nature and the world around him.

He talked a lot of his fascination for feedback loops — drawing on paper and in software and feeding these drawings back into programs to see what comes out. Ultimately, he does this stuff for fun. There is no distinction between his work and play.

And that was the take away message of his talk — it’s a simple one but it’s still resonating with me —

“Make the kind of work that you want to get hired to do.”

Or to paraphrase — publish the personal, self-initiated work you love and you might just get hired to do it for money.

Not a bad idea eh?

Joshua Davis with James Victore

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