About Jonah Dempcy

Jonah Dempcy is a writer and musician living in Seattle, where he performs and lectures. Born in 1983 in Boston, he spent his formative years in Northern California. At age 14, his music was discovered by Marco Collins and played on 107.7 The End. Soon after, KEXP and other radio stations followed suit, and he signed to Koyote Records in the UK. As a teenager, he played hundreds of shows across the US and released CDs and vinyl records under the moniker Revolution Void, an electronic jazz project. He collaborated with musicians such as Matthew Garrison and Seamus Blake, and mentored under Wayne Horvitz. He spent two years working with Michael Shrieve as an engineer and producer, recording with such musicians as Elvin Jones, Dave Holland, and Bill Frisell. He wrote music for the Experience Music Project’s Audio Immersion Tunnel in collaboration with Allan Howarth, a 48-speaker soundsystem installation that was visited by millions of guests. He began teaching music production classes at the Experience Music Project and continued to release music, branching into film and television soundtracks.

In 2006, Dempcy began working at Amazon where he led initiatives in accessibility, standardization, and performance improvement. He worked closely with teams across Amazon to improve site accessibility for those with visual impairments, as well as standardizing CSS and forming the JavaScript Excellence Team (JSET) which led adoption of jQuery. His work on performance reduced server costs by millions of dollars per year, also having a significant environmental impact in reduced electricity consumption. His efforts culminated when, with the help of his mentor in the executive team, his performance initiative became the company-wide focus for the year 2009.

After leaving Amazon, Dempcy cofounded the mobile development agency Pharaoh with his childhood friend, Alex Grande. In 2013, he cofounded the educational technology company Skilljar with his former Amazon colleagues, Doug Gradt and Sandi Lin. He was responsible for getting the team accepted in Techstars class of 2013, where Skilljar raised $1.1M in funding. Also in 2013, he began volunteering with The Global Center for Advanced Studies (GCAS), an experimental school which launched the following year. He worked closely with the cofounders Creston Davis and Jason Adams as an advisor and business consultant, as well as attending classes with instructors and guest lecturers such as Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, Henry Giroux, Gayatri Spivak, Jack Halberstam, Michael Hardt, Graham Priest, John D. Caputo, and Thomas Altizer. He introduced Adams to Mohammad Salemy, and in 2014, they started The New Centre for Research & Practice, where he began attending classes as well. In 2015, he assisted Katerina Kolozova in teaching the work of François Laruelle. At The New Centre, he learned from such instructors as Reza Negarestani, Pete Wolfendale, Nick Srnicek, Fernando Zalamea, Matteo Pasquinelli, Ben Woodard, and Ray Brassier.

In 2017, Dempcy lectured on the work of C. G. Jung and James Hillman at Cauda Pavonis, an alchemical conference in Seattle. He guest lectured at North Seattle College on the work of Jung in gender studies. His current focus is bridging the tradition of archetypal cosmology, exemplified by Richard Tarnas, with continental philosophers such as Gilles Deleuze. He works at Bluefire Productions as a software developer creating applications for mobile devices, Augmented Reality, and Virtual Reality. In his role at Bluefire, he collaborates with the Readium Foundation, a non-profit association developing open source technology for the digital publishing industry.


Email: [email protected]