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.
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.