David Gurman

David Gurman is a data artist and designer based in San Francisco. His “real-time memorials” use live streams of data to connect viewers with conflict situations in other parts of the world. As David puts it, “I feel a sense of complicity about the loss that’s going on from military incursions. … I want to inspire a connection to places that we hear about every day, but don’t have a real physical connection to, even though we’re physically shaping it.”

In his installation The Nicholas Shadow, David hung a church bell inside a confessional chapel and arranged for it to ring on the hour for each Iraqi civilian killed that day. Another project, Reflector, used earthquake vibration data to make waves in pools of water, visualizing in real time the ground motion effects of bombs dropping in Syria, mining explosions in South Dakota, and Antarctic glacial earthquakes.

David is co-founder and chief design officer of VibrantData, a company that enables next-generation machine learning, data discovery, and predictive modeling. David also leads design for HackingCreativity.com, the largest data-driven study of creative styles, conducted by Red Bull’s High Performance Group in partnership with VibrantData. Participants are asked 20 questions about their creative tendencies. Using those data, VibrantData’s real-time classifier simultaneously compares their answers to those of past participants, predicting what styles likely belong to them and suggesting how they might boost their particular creative firepower.

David is a TED fellow whose work has been included in national and international exhibitions and recognized by TED, Headlands Center for the Arts, the Center for Cultural Innovation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, among others. His work has been written about in Time Magazine, BOOKforum, the Daily Beast, WIRED, and MAKE.