Hadassah Damien is a technologist. What does that mean?

Well, I develop digital systems and strategy, build data schemas and open-source software tools for nonprofits; create digital catalogs and archives for cultural creators; analyze data and communication technologies; devops, spin servers, and create website architecture; optimize content and visual design for websites and print; and consult on digital strategy and seo.

I believe in both formal and self-directed education, so after receiving a Masters Degree from the wonderful CUNY Graduate Center (2011-13), I spent a year as the Resident Scholar at the Interference Archive (2013-14), while working at at Openflows Community Technology Coop (2013-16). 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 systems, my work intersects functionality with agility, practicality, and the democratic politics of open-source cultures.I hold an MA in American Studies and a Certificate in Interactive Technology and Pedagogy from the CUNY Graduate Center. I have collaborated on digital collection sites for John Jay library, The Interference Archive, and more.

HDamien_MG_8629I’m curious and adventerous in life and design.

Folk engineering is in my blood. 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 realized 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 50 functional, beautiful sites.

In 2005 I decided to begin recording audio, and in 2008 video; I’ve taught an open-source audio course and have had my short videos play all over the US, Canada and the EU.

In 2012 I became fascinated with networks, the logic of open-source code and customs, and began learning about web architecture, servers, IT, and information security. I co-owned a community technology shop for three years and speak at conferences and on panels (and with clients) about smart digital practices.

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 strategy on media, 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.