Hello from Ben!

Hello all! My name is Ben Silverman and I’m a first-year masters student in the Comparative Media Studies program here at MIT, doing research on the furry fandom and rave subcultures. I also work at the Active Archives Initiative, formerly known as HyperStudio. On the side, I like to make electronic music.

I am interested in issues of housing equity, gentrification, and activist archives. As such, I am quite excited by the project Sasha mentioned involving Karilyn Crockett from DUSP and the local organizations that protested the interstate highway system. I would love to work directly with these activist organizations in remixing and reanimating their archival materials—especially as housing justice is a struggle that continues to be pressing and vital around this country. Co-designing a project with a community organization involved in that struggle is an opportunity I do not want to miss.

That said, I am also open to working on other projects! I have never been involved in planning (or hacking) a hackathon before, and I look forward to finding out what that entails. In whichever project I work on, I hope to make use of my skills in web programming, data visualization, and/or audio/video editing.

My sense is that design factors into many disciplines and professions, and therefore I feel that design justice principles will be with me for the rest of my life. In this course, I look forward to putting those principles into action and understanding them on a practical level.