David Glowacki (that’s me) is originally from Milwaukee. I study a range of different areas, in an ongoing effort connect different knowledge discourses. I have appointments as a Royal Society Research Fellow, Philip Leverhulme award holder, and ERC grantee at the University of Bristol where I founded a research group called the ‘Intangible Realities Laboratory’ (IRL) joint between the Centre for Computational Chemistry and the Department of Computer Science. In 2013, I founded a company called Interactive Scientific to develop immersive experiences that furnish scientific and educational insight. In 2019, I founded ArtSci International, a non-profit foundation supporting open-source immersive technology software projects at frontiers of scientific, aesthetic, and technological practice.
I graduated from UPenn in 2003. My liberal arts training enabled me to study a range of subjects, including a degree in chemistry, as well as mathematics, philosophy, comparative literature, and religions. In 2004 I obtained an MA in cultural theory as a Fulbright finalist at the School of Arts, Languages, and Cultures at the University of Manchester (UK). In 2008, I completed a PhD in molecular physics at Leeds University (UK). After four years as a post-doc in Bristol, I was awarded a Royal Society Research Fellowship and tenured faculty position in 2013.
I have published across several domains, spanning: non-equilibrium molecular physics, classical & quantum dynamics, computational biochemistry, human-computer interaction, high-performance computing, computer graphics, evolutionary algorithms, machine learning & data science, digital aesthetics, interactive computational art, religion & power, cultural theory, optics, and scientific instrument development.
The computational artworks to which I’ve contributed have been experienced by lots of people across the world. For example, the multi-award winning ‘danceroom Spectroscopy’ digital art installation and the ‘Hidden Fields‘ performance have been experienced by over 200,000 people across Europe, the USA, and Asia, and featured at a number of well-known cultural and media venues like the Barbican Arts Centre (London), the ZKM | Center for Art and Media Technology (Karlsruhe, Germany), the London 2012 Olympics (London, UK), the Stanford University Art Institute (Palo Alto, California), the Bhutan International Festival (Thimphu, Bhutan), and all sorts of others. Digital aesthetics isn’t the only art form I explore; sometimes I design altogether different types of performance art experiments…
Over the years, I’ve become increasingly interested the aesthetic metaphors that guide scientific imagination. This is particularly important in domains which cannot be seen with the naked eye, where our scientific intuition is guided by the aesthetic representations and metaphors we use to imagine phenomena which are otherwise invisible. In fact I would almost go so far to claim that imagery is the reality in these domains, profoundly impacting how we communicate these ‘realities’, in both research & educational contexts. Over the last few years, my group’s work in computational aesthetics has in fact driven a range of scientific research outcomes – e.g., the algorithms we’ve designed to make artworks have been fast enough to accelerate our scientific research. I like this research paradigm, with aesthetic enquiry and scientific enquiry locked in mutual dialogue, each pushing one another into new territories.