Hadassah Damien is a technologist. What does that mean?
Well, she develops data schemas and open-source software tools for nonprofits; digital catalogs and archives for cultural creators; analyses information and communication technologies; builds the technical end of website architecture; creates content and visual design for websites and print; and consults on digital strategy and marketing.
I believe in both formal and self-directed education, so after receiving a Masters Degree from the wonderful CUNY Graduate Center (2011-2013), I spent a year as the Resident Scholar at the Interference Archive, while working at at Openflows Community Technology Coop (2013-2016). I am currently working with the Participatory Budgeting Project as the Manager of Engagement Technology.
As a community organizer who also implements technology to help activists succeed, and a multimedia artist who also builds digital archives, my work intersects functionality with agility, practicality, and the democratic politics of open-source cultures. I have collaborated on digital collection sites for John Jay library, The Interference Archive, and more. She holds an MA in American Studies, and a Certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy from the CUNY Graduate Center.
In 1987 my grandmother taught me how to sew, and my mother taught me patternmaking, fabrics & crafts; I went on to costume design school and professional production in new and vintage fabrics as well as leather.
In 1994 I began working in print by making zines and went on to edit a university newspaper and Art Direct a magazine along with making posters and flyers for events, book interiors, press kits, CD covers…
In 2000 I began staging photo shoots and digitally editing the images for creative collages; now I’ve styled product and portrait shoots for fine art, editorial print, and web uses.
In 2004 I formed a performance troupe and we realised that the a web presence was the best way to promote ourselves, so I taught myself HTML to make our site; now I’ve built or maintained over a dozen beautiful sites.
In 2005 I decided to begin recording audio, and in 2008 video – and now I teach a DIY audio course and have had my short videos play all over the US, Canada and the EU.
I’m passionate about supporting social justice, free speech, individuals’ self- representations, and the hard work put in by small business owners and working artists to realize their dreams.
My education has been broad, both formal and self-driven, and is lifelong. I care about the work I do and the projects I take on, because they must reflect my vision of a DIY/C [that last “c” is for collectively!] world.
For you, who may need creative or production assistance:
Cross-genre creative production is my specialty because it is close to the fabric of my life, and I’m thrilled to work with others to share my skills. I offer communication design in web, print, styling and multimedia platforms. I’m pleased to offer special rates to working artists and female or minority-owned small businesses – please contact me for specifics.
Welcome to my blog and portfolio, I look forward to hearing from you if there’s a project you have in mind or a tool or other technologist you think I should know about.