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Our Residents

Tahir Hemphill

Pier 9 RESIDENT 2017

As a native New Yorker, Tahir came of age in the 1980s and divided his time between practicing various elements of Hip-hop culture and exploring cyberspace from his basement in Queens with a dial-up modem connected to a Commodore 128 computer. A fundamental affinity between Hip-hop culture and hacking would define the trajectory of his professional and creative life. Starting in middle school, his exposure to curricula that foregrounded engineering-oriented making led him to acquire knowledge, values, and skills at institutions of higher learning while Hip-hop’s “golden era” informed his perspectives on popular culture and politics. The theoretical frameworks that support these two educational influences have been synthesized into his current creative endeavors.

Over the past 20 years, as an artist who works with technology, he has been influenced by scientific work that pushes investigation to artistic limits and artistic work that pushes repetition towards scientific method. This productive tension between art and technology is fueled by his reverence for the scientific method as well as his irreverent tinkering with it.

Currently, he operates a creative enterprise where strategic vision, artistic talent, business insight, and culture are leveraged to deliver high-impact, revenue-generating, marketing, and design based solutions to global brands.

Benjamin Cowden