Josh Hughes Studios LLC

Joshua Hughes





Though the future is uncertain, contemporary theorists, economists, politicians, and engineers agree that technology, specifically automation, is going to fundamentally change our society and our economy. This impact will be broad and unpredictable.

It is my belief, as well as the belief of contemporary philosophers such as Karl Spracklen, that the things we do for leisure humanize us, helps us to find empathy for others, and creates positive cross-cultural interaction. As Spracklen puts it, “[leisure] is ultimately associated with agency and with identity, [because] leisure is something that makes us human.”

When I was in the Army and fighting the “War on Terrorism” I developed human sources in the local population. Sometimes those sources would attend terrorist training camps.

These sources would bring back videos of terrorist training activity similar to what is portrayed in media, as well as other ongoings that are not. Basically, what they show on TV news— with terrorist organizations (such as Al Qaeda) running through obstacle courses and shooting guns, are not the only thing on those tapes. They also include activities such as soccer, eating meals, laughing with one another, or smoking cigarettes—common activities that may be obvious when considered, but in the situation we are placed to look at them in, feel rather strange. Receiving that content really changes the way you look at another human. It makes “them” much more like “us” and therefore less like “the enemy” we are taught to believe.

For the sake of our future it is important for us to develop empathy for each other. Empathy allows us to feel the pleasure and pains others feel. Oftentimes in the contemporary moment we are in a zero-sum mentality, where one person’s gain comes at another person’s loss or an “us versus them” attitude. When a large section of the population experiences technological unemployment, our society must be willing to step in and aid them in whatever ways possible, be it the creation of new jobs or training those people for occupations which can provide them the ability to work. Above all else we must allow for people to redefine gainful employment to include the sharing of their leisures. Because in the end, if every job is taken by robots, the sharing of leisure is intrinsically something which cannot be automated. This is because human leisure is difficult, if not impossible, to separate from the human experience itself.

In the Age of Automation Josh Hughes 

In the Age of Automation examines our contemporary relationship to technology, leisure, and labor. Automation, mobile internet and artificial intelligence is fundamentally upending traditional ideas and cultural norms in regards to nearly every aspect of our contemporary lives. Using intelligence collection and analysis methods thought to me while serving as an Interrogator in the U.S. Army combined with my studio art practice, I employ emerging fabrication methods such as 3D Printmaking, CNC Machining, Robotics, and Computer Programing to create sculpture. It is my attempt to collect information about the world around me, make commentary about it and share it with people in a way to which I hope provides them of a better understanding of the world around them. 




Salem, Ore


Masters of visual Studies

Pacific NW College of Art


Josh Hughes is a sculptor fascinated with technology and the everyday world around him. He received his MFA in Visual Studies from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon (2019), and received his BFA in Sculpture from Pacific Northwest College of Art (2017). During his eight years spent on active duty (2005 - 2013) in the U.S. Army he served for multiple deployments overseas which included deployments to Europe, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Throughout his time serving in the U.S. Army his military occupational speciality was an Interrogator, Human Intelligence Collector, and French Linguist who specialized in Military Source Collection operations. Some of the notable Department of Defence Courses he graduated from are the Advanced Leadership Course, Fort Huachuca, AZ (2012) which is advance training in Human Intelligence Collection and Management, the Source Operations Course, Fort Huachuca, AZ (2009) which is advanced and classified training in intelligence collection methods from human sources, the French Language Course at the Defence Language Institute, Monterey, CA (2008) where he trained to a college proficiency in the French language with a focus in intelligence gathering, conversation, and translation, and the 35M Humint Intelligence Collector/Interrogator Course at the United States Army Intelligence Center of Excellence, Fort Huachuca, AZ (2005) where he was trained to a collect intelligence information via interrogation and low level military source operations from human sources. Josh Hughes was medically retired at the rank of Staff Sergeant from injuries sustained in combat (2013). 

Josh Hughes’ awards include BFA Sculpture Award (2017), 3rd Place in Marion County Fair Juried Show of Fine Art in Photography (1996), Army Commendation Medal 5th Award, Army Achievement Medal 3rd Award, Combat Action Badge, Iraq Campaign Medal with 3 Campaign Stars, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and many Others. 

Josh Hughes has also shown Nationally and Internationally. Some of his notable works have been showcased in the Sundance Film Festival (2017), Sapporo International Snow Sculpture Competition, Sapporo, Japan (2017), Fringe Festival, Ashland Oregon (2018), was a selected artist for Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, Special Exhibit “Layers: The Evolving Art of 3D Printmaking” (2018), and Time Based Arts Festival, Portland Oregon (2018).