David Harris has taken a circuitous path to his present position as a new media artist, interactive designer, lecturer, and researcher.
In recent years, his work has shown at the United Nations COP25 Climate Change conference (Madrid, Spain), Powerhouse Museum (Sydney, Australia), Botanica Festival (Brisbane, Australia), California Academy of Sciences, Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, World Conference of Science Journalists (Lausanne, Switzerland), and arteriet gallery (Norway), among others.
He completed his undergraduate studies with first class honours and the University Medal in Theoretical Physics at Australian National University. He then completed a graduate degree in Scientific Communication at ANU before moving to the University of Queensland to do a PhD in theoretical physics. During his PhD studies, he had a weekly science call-in radio show on Australia’s public broadcaster, the ABC. He wrote 65 episodes of a children’s science TV series “Y?”, and he wrote for a variety of newspapers and magazines in Australia. He never quite finished that PhD as he was fully seduced by the world of communication.
Seeking a bigger pond, he moved to the United States to work as Head of Media Relations for the American Physical Society. After a few years, Fermilab and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center asked him to start up a new publication for them—Symmetry magazine. After 7.5 years at the helm of Symmetry, and heading the communications office for SLAC, he moved to start up the Front Matter section of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the US scientific journal, where he introduced content accessible to readers who aren’t necessarily experts in those scientific fields. He has also written for many major science magazines including Scientific American, Popular Science, New Scientist, WIRED, and Make, and various newspapers in Australia.
Through all of this, he had been working on making and tinkering, getting back into the electronics he was introduced to as a young boy and never really quit. Deciding to follow his passion for making and artistic expression, he completed in an MFA in Digital Arts and New Media at the University of California, Santa Cruz, in June 2016.
David returned to his birthplace of Brisbane, Australia, as a doctoral candidate at the Queensland College of Art and Design, Griffith University, where he convenes, lectures, and tutored masters and undergraduate courses in the Design program.
His research is on understanding the relationship between science and art through transdisciplinary collaborative processes.