ABOUT OUR NETWORK
THE OPERATING SYSTEM IS 100% VOLUNTEER RUN AND OPERATED! WE FUNCTION ON A COOPERATIVE, COLLABORATIVE MODEL OF REDISTRIBUTION OF RESOURCES AND LABOR, AS A BEACON TO OTHERS OF WHAT IS POSSIBLE WHEN CREATIVE PEOPLE WORK TOGETHER TO LEARN, SHARE, AND MAKE CHANGE IN OUR COMMUNITIES. THIS MEANS THAT AT ANY GIVEN TIME, OUR “TEAM” DIFFERS, THOUGH THERE ARE USUALLY SOME CORE VOLUNTEERS IN ONGOING FACILITATOR ROLES.
OPERATOR/MEMBERS/VOLUNTEERS ARE OFTEN WORKING ENTIRELY VIRTUALLY, EDITING ONE OF OUR SERIES ON MEDIUM, TEACHING FOR LIMINAL LAB, OR SERVING TO HELP COORDINATE ONE OF OUR YEARLY COHORTS FOR PRINT/DOCUMENT PROJECTS. USUALLY, DURING A PERIOD WHEN ONE’S OWN PROJECT IS ACTIVE, OS MEMBERS ARE INVOLVED IN ONLINE AND OFFLINE VOLUNTEER SERVICE IN SOME WAY. THIS MAY INCLUDE WORKING AT AN EVENT OR BOOKFAIR, CURATING A WEEK OF THE ANNUAL POETRY MONTH SERIES, HELPING WITH DESIGN OR ANY OF A NUMBER OF OTHER ADMINISTRATIVE TASKS.
WE’VE ALSO SUPPORTED A SERIES OF INDEPENDENT AS WELL AS INSTITUTIONALLY TIED INTERNS. WE CURRENTLY HAVE AN INDEPENDENT INTERN, JACOB GALE, A QUEER POET FINISHING HIS SENIOR YEAR OF HS IN NJ, AND WILL SOON BE WORKING STUDENTS FROM THE WITH THE COMMUNITY COLLEGES OF CHICAGO FOR THEIR 2021 EXTERN SEASON.
CURRENT OPERATIONS ARE SUPPORTED BY
THESE ONGOING VOLUNTEERS:
CREATIVE DIRECTOR / FOUNDER, COHORT & LIMINAL LAB COORDINATOR, SOCIAL MEDIA, ETC : ELÆ
(fka Lynne DeSilva-Johnson)
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, FIELD NOTES : ADRIAN SILBERNAGEL (on hiatus)
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, IN CORPORE SANO : AMANDA GLASSMAN (on hiatus)
ASSISTANT COHORT COORDINATOR / ADMIN AID : BRENT ARMENDINGER
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR / SYSTEM OPERATOR : ORCHID TIERNEY
LIMINAL LAB ADMIN & REGISTRATION ASSISTANT : LEVY ERWIN
THESE COHORT MEMBERS: Vidhu Aggarwal, Steven Alvarez, Antena Aire (Jen Hofer & JD Pluecker), Robert Balun, Mathilda Cullen, Johnny Damm, Joey De Jesus, Angel Dominguez, Patricia Hartland, Ginger Ko, Panoply Performance Lab, Ellen Samuels & Ariel Resnikoff
THESE LIMINAL LAB FACILITATORS: Samuel Ace, Chris Alexander, Chloë Bass, Olive Bieringa, Joey De Jesus, Elæ, Kristen Gallagher, Mafe Izaguirre, Constantine Jones, Shay Lawz, Jeff Kasper, Caits Meissner, Esther Neff, Urayoán Noel, Alan Pelaez Lopez, Margaret Rhee, Jennifer Scappettone, Orchid Tierney, Edwin Torres, Joanna C. Valente, Zoe Tuck, and Chloe Zimmerman.
BUT IT ALSO INCLUDES A ROTATING CAST OF ALL OF OUR MEMBERS, WHO ARE ALSO INVITED IN TO COLLECTIVE DECISION MAKING PROCESSES AT OPEN COMMUNITY MEETINGS.
ELÆ (fka Lynne DeSilva-Johnson)
Facilitator, System Builder, Curator, Publisher, Webmaster, Lifehacker, Composter, Mycologist, Alchemist.
Welcome to The Operating System & Liminal Lab!
I’m Elæ, (they/them/xe/per) the founder and facilitator of this amorphous, evolving organism, and I’m so very glad you’re here. I hope we can find a way to support you in building your best possible creative life — to reclaim the joy and wonder of it, by hacking your way to sustainable, thrivable practices.
First, let me tell you a little about myself, and how I landed here — I imagine your story might have some similarities to my own.
I don’t remember when I stopped saying that I’d be an artist when I grew up, but somewhere along the way I got the message that it wasn’t really an option, practically speaking. So I kept making art, writing, playing music, and inventing, but sidelined these joys, even shaming these inclinations as, ultimately, self-indulgent.
Growing up in a socio-economically challenged household excelling in school, getting into the best colleges, and making prudent decisions about my financial future were paramount concerns — but despite this I never truly connected to an established “career” path (even after completing a masters in Urban Design) instead choosing to continue along as an academic, as cultural anthropology suited my rabid-seeker nature, entering an esteemed doctoral program in my mid 20’s.
Ironically, what I observed about higher academia in those years (and in teaching as an adjunct at CUNY for the decade that would follow; I’m now an Adjunct Professor at Pratt Institute) made me fear more about the negative outcomes of our current educational system than anything else — and then, studying mid-century American politics and poetics in particular led me back away from claims of objectivity and “truth” and towards a major revelation wherein I came to believe that creative practice was perhaps the most important thing we still do as humans – a space in which questioning, wonderment, and awe are able to trump apathy and internal programming, bridging and connecting across language and barriers of all types: our best hope if humanity and the ecology that supports it are to survive… ergo, a dedication to supporting its flourishing became paramount. Enter The OS.
I’m lucky that my need to support myself was paired with a natural inclination towards both technology and entrepreneurship — I taught myself an early version of the Adobe suite back in 1999 when no one at my college was familiar with it while on a student grant to research, create branding and write a business plan for a nascent nonprofit, The I Do Foundation, operational from 2000-2017.
This auto-didacticism continued, as I taught myself web design and basic coding, started and maintained a blog beginning in 2003, and engaged with any variety of passive-income possibilities, from the clunky cafe press shops days forward. Always looking for different and more, I participated in citizen journalism projects like Broowaha, played around with early versions of fellow Swattie Justin Hall’s PMOG/Nethernet, and generally became an early adopter of social tech. And then somehow, for 15 years, I served as a freelance business consultant, providing systems, design, language, and management support to dozens of individuals and organizations, preaching agile before I knew what to call it.
But I digress.
The point is this: I learned an enormous amount in the radical technology and entrepreneurship spaces I entered seeking new, viable, transformative outlets for my own creativity. I learned about Open Source and the P2P movement, connected with thought leaders all over the world, and I schooled myself in radical economics — ultimately, I found business models with which creators, with some education and encouragement, could transform their communities and their lives.
With which, just maybe, I could too.
Whether working with individuals, organizations, or more informal groups, my raison d’être is evolution. Above all, I’m interested in our unique capacity as an intelligent organism to constantly adapt and level up our abilities, our systems, and – as a result – our satisfaction with life.
Inspired by biological systems – and committed to considering our impact, always, on our environment — my passion is helping others to learn (and build!) agile, sustainable, efficient practices and models for the best possible life lived here, together, in the anthropocene (such as it is), and to encourage Open Source / P2P sharing of our learning along the way, for the good of the whole.
I’m encouraged and inspired by the cross disciplinary learning environments still very much alive in the archives of the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College, and by the expansive, revolutionary learning experiments exploding everywhere today both online and off — I think we can break out of our silos and influence our life and this planet in ways we’ve only imagined.
And that’s why the OS exists. There’s a reason that on our twitter it reads that “to understand The OS simply as a magazine would hurt its feelings.” Sure, we publish books, but the point is that there’s a way to create artifacts and documents to alter the ontological field and to challenge the questions of why we publish, how we publish, what we publish, and who gets to do it. Once we turn into just another press, I’ll close the chapter.
I hope you’ll take some time to explore the diverse resources here online or order any of our print volumes to learn more about who we are and what we do. The website is woefully, continuously imperfect and often a step behind our incredible work on the ground, but — even though I work with hundreds and hundreds of co-creators, most days I’m just one person on a mission… and miraculously, over the years we’ve now produced well over a hundred print projects, not to mention hundreds of events, open source resources and tools, and now the fully open access teaching platform that is Liminal Lab.
Growing pains! Accepting the flaws and limitations, even while challenging them, is part of the game.
As I like to say,
In Solidarity and Possibility
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR COMMUNITY OF PRACTITIONERS AND DOWNLOAD OR PURCHASE THEIR PROJECTS VIA THE OS OPEN ACCESS LIBRARY
LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR 2021 PROJECT COHORT HERE
Adra Raine – Want-Catcher 
Alaina Ferris – While Listening 
Alex Crowley – Improper Maps 
Alexis Quinlan – An Admission as a Warning Against the Value of Our Conclusions 
Amanda Ngoho Reavey – MARILYN 
Andrea Mazzariello – One More Revolution 
Anne Gorrick – An Absence So Great And Spontaneous It Is Evidence Of Light 
Anton Yakovlev – Neptune Court 
Anurak Saelow – Schema 
Ariel Resnikoff (with Jerome Rothenberg and Mikhl Likht) – TEN FOUR :: Poems, Translations, Variations  (trans. Resnikoff, Stephen Ross)
Ashraf Fayadh – Instructions Within  (trans. Mona Kareem)
Bill Considine – Strange Coherence , The Furies 
blake nemec – Sharing Plastic 
Caits Meissner – Let it Die Hungry 
Chely Lima – What the Werewolf Told Them / Lo Que Les Dijo El Licantropo  (trans. Margaret Randall)
Connie May Oliver – cosmos a personal voyage by carl sagan anne druyan steven soter and me 
Chloe Bass – The Book of Everyday Instruction 
Davy Knittle – Cyclorama 
Erick Sáenz – Sussuros a mi Padre 
Filip Marinovich – The Suitcase Tree 
Gabriel Ojeda-Sague – Jazzercise is a Language 
Gregory Crosby – Spooky Action at a Distance ; Walking Away from Explosions in Slow Motion 
Gregory Randall – Estar allí Entonces: Recuerdos de Cuba 1969-1983 / To Have Been There Then  (trans. Margaret Randall)
Israel Domiguez – Return Trip / Viaje Al Regreso; Duel Language Edition (trans. Margaret Randall) 
Ivy Johnson – Born Again 
Jacq Greya – Greater Grave 
Jacklyn Janeksela – Fixing a Witch/Hexing the Stitch 
Jared Schickling – Needles of Itching Feathers 
Jeff Musillo – Can You See That Sound 
Jeffrey Cyphers Wright – Radio Poems 
Jerome Rothenberg (with Harold Cohen) – Flower World Variations Expanded Edition 
Jerome Rothenberg (with Ariel Resnikoff and Mikhl Likht) – TEN FOUR :: Poems, Translations, Variations  (trans. Resnikoff, Stephen Ross)
Jessica Tyner – Secret-Telling Bones 
John Kropa (with Lancelot Runge) – Talk About Man Proof 
Johnny Damm – Science Of Things Familiar 
Joseph Cuillier – The Sensitive Boy Slumber Party Manifesto 
Judith Goldman – agon 
Juliet P (JP) Howard – Say/Mirror [2015; expanded 2nd edition 2016]
Lancelot Runge (with John Kropa) – Talk About Man Proof 
Leslie Anne Wheeler – Abandoners 
In Corpore Sano : Creative Practice and the Challanged Body [Anthology, 2018] (Lynne DeSilva-Johnson and Jay Besemer, co-editors)
Israel Dominguez – Viaje de Regreso / Return Trip  (tran. Margaret Randall)
Margaret Rhee – Love, Robot 
Mark DuCharme – We, The Monstrous 
Mark Gurarie – Everybody’s Automat 
Maryam Parhizkar – Pull, A Ballad 
Mehdi Navid – The Book of Sounds 
Michael Flatt and Derrick Mund – Chlorosis 
Mikhl Likht (with Jerome Rothenberg and Ariel Resnikoff) – TEN FOUR :: Poems, Translations, Variations  (trans. Resnikoff, Stephen Ross)
Peter Longofono – Chords 
Peter Milne Greiner – Executive Producer Chris Carter , Lost City Hydrothermal Field 
Rebecca Lazier (with Dan Trueman, Sō Percussion and Mobius Percussion) – There Might Be Others 
Shabnam Piryaei – Nothing Is Wasted 
Sō Percussion – A Gun Show 
Sparrow – How to Survive the Coming Collapse of Civilization 
Stanford Cheung – Any Seam or Needlework 
Stephanie Heit – The Color She Gave Gravity 
Steve Danziger – Moons Of Jupiter/Tales From The Schminke Tub 
Susan Charkes – sp. 
Tony Hoffman – The Sword of Things 
Wally Swist – Singing For Nothing 
COLLABORATING VISUAL ARTISTS
FLOWER WORLD VARIATIONS (Expanded Edition) – cover, interior computer drawings / paintings by Harold Cohen
IN CORPORE SANO (Anthology) – cover, featuring painting by Georgia Elrod
THE COLOR SHE GAVE GRAVITY  – cover, interior photos from Gwynneth VanLaven’s series, “The Visibility Color”
VIAJE DE REGRESO / RETURN TRIP  – cover, featuring street art from Wrinkles of the City – Havana by JR and Jose Parlá
INSTRUCTIONS WITHIN  – cover, interior featuring original paintings by Ashraf Fayadh
MARILYN  – front and back covers, featuring paintings by Joo Young Choi
CHAPBOOK SERIES 2017: INCANTATIONS
*featuring the asemic drawings of Barbara Byers
CHAPBOOK SERIES 2016: OF SOUND MIND
*featuring the quilt drawings of Daphne Taylor
CHAPBOOK SERIES 2015: OF SYSTEMS OF
*featuring original cover art by Emma Steinkraus
CHAPBOOK SERIES 2014: BY HAND
*featuring original cover design by Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, photos courtesy of the poets
CHAPBOOK SERIES 2013: WOODBLOCK
*featuring original prints from Kevin William Reed
Community Content Feature Contributors
IN a digital age, what does it mean to produce a print document, to publish books and magazines on paper? More and more it means having a rich relationship to a community that lives and breathes both in the sensory world and on the internet; here it becomes possible to sustain and deepen conversations and connections with print contributors, collaborators, allies, and those who inspire us through their creative practice — in ways we never could purely in paper circulation. Since the Spring of 2012, the following list of astounding, committed, impassioned individuals has joined in sharing their thoughts and words with you here through original online content – now archived for personal and community use, in the studio, at home, or in the classroom.
You are heartily encouraged to join us here.
PREVIOUS DIGITAL CONTRIBUTORS INCLUDE: Daniel Aaron, Rachel Abramowitz, Matthew Abrams, Bayo Akomolafe, Sherry Akomolafe, Philip Ammonds, Zi Alikhan, Joel Allegretti, Ashleigh Allen, Keisha-Gaye Anderson, David Andersson, Pilar Rodriguez Aranda, Ada Athorp, Amber Atiya, Andre Bagoo, Lee Ballinger, Anna Barsan, Chloe Bass, Amy Beecher, Elana Bell, Bud Berkich, Michael Berube, Jay Besemer, Eliza Blue, Lois Bielefeld, Lindsey Boldt, Ana Bozicevic, Laura Braslow, Michael Broek, Catherine Bull, Sivan Butler-Rotholz, Martin Byrne, Laurel Callen, Vahni Capildeo, Lauren Marie Cappello, Anthony Cappo, Laura Carter, Eric Cha-Beach, Chia-Lun Chang, Mark Changizi, Ching-In Chen, Stanford Cheung, Michael Chocholak,Karen Clark, Rachel Collymore, Bill Considine, Kimberly Convery, Jack Cooper, Brittany Corrigan, Chella Courington, Karen Craigo, Gregory Crosby, Alex Crowley, Joseph Cuillier, Johnny Damm, Steve Danziger, Dr. Robert Davies, Bibi Deitz, Garrett Deming, Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, Annaliese Downey, Mel Elberg, Georgia Elrod, Nada Faris, Ashraf Fayadh, Lester Feder, Dia Felix, Carl Ferrero, Alaina Ferris, Benjamin Fine, Donna Fleischer, Michael Fusco, Julian Gallo, Matt Gano, Roger Geier, Sarah Giovanniello, Paul Gittleman, Bob Goldberg, Judith Goldman, Keena Gonzales, Howie Good, Ain Gordon, Mitch Grabois, Jay Grabowski, Peter Milne Greiner, Jeffrey Grunthaner, Mark Gurarie, Eric Harberson, Elizabeth Harlan-Ferlo, Barney Haynes, Stefanie Heit, Jeannie Hoag, Jen Hofer, Roxanne Hoffman, Tony Hoffman, Bob Holman,Peggy Holman, JP Howard, MC Hyland, Sabina Ibarrola, Jacklyn Janeksela, Ivan Jenson, Emily Johnson, Paul Ramirez Jonas, Mona Kareem, Lawrence Kaplun, Jack Kennedy, David King, Lauren Klotzman, Davy Knittle, Philip Kobylarz, Solton Komor, John Kropa, Keetje Kuipers, Daniel L’homme, Linda Lambertson, Maya Lang, Michael Laurello, Stacey Lawrence, Rebecca Lazier, Casey Scott Leach, Max Leach, Courtney LeBlanc, Max Leon, Todd Lerew, David T. Little, Matt Longabucco, Katie Longofono, Peter Longofono, Clara Lou, Jim Lounsbury, Clarinda Mac Low, Danny Madden, Roberto Malini, Alexandra Manglis, Clare Smith Marash, Damon Ferrell Marbut, Hune Margulies, Farzhana Marie, Chris Martin, Shanna Maurizi, Carey Maxon, Andrea Mazzariello, Harmon McAllister, Alysse Kathleen McCanna, Jeffrey McDaniel, John McLane, Jessica Mehta, David Meiklejohn, Caits Meissner, Jim Meirose, Conor Messinger, Eric Meyer, Brian Mihok, Maiga Milbourne, Taha Abdel Moniem, Charan Morris, David Moscovich, Patrick Murray, Jeff Musillo, Uche Nduka, Lauren Neefe, Matt Nelson, Nana Nestoros, Ryan Nowlin,Bethany O’Grady, Najee Omar, Frank Ortega, Daniel Owen, Steve Palermo, Joe Pan, Annie Paradis, Maryam Parhizkar, Jacob Perkins, Sarah Pinder, Juan Carlos Pinero Escoriaza, Shabnam Piryaei, Penny Pollock, Cristina Preda, Stina Puotinen, Josh Quillen, Taylor Quilty, Alexis Quinlan, Julien Raffinot, Shivanee Ramlochan, Gregory Randall, Margaret Randall, Kameelah Rasheed, Montana Ray, Amanda Ngoho Reavey, Kevin William Reed, Matthias Regan, Pete Reilly, Ariel Resnikoff, Anna Rhys-Jones, Diana Rickard,Velcrow Ripper, Christina Rodriguez, Stephen Ross, Penina Roth, Jerome Rothenberg, Michael Rothenberg, Mariana Ruiz Firmat, Lancelot Runge, Legacy Russell, Frank Sabatte, Anurak Saelaow, Luz Sanchez, Janice Sapigao, Jordan Schnee, Sam Selinger, Jennifer Sertl, Sara Shaoul, Frank Sherlock, Peter Jay Shippy, Anis Shivani, Adam Sliwinski, Gary Sloboda, Mark Snyder, Chy Ryan Spain, Sparrow, Joannie Stangeland, Sophia Starmack, Jon Steinhagen, Emma Steinkraus, Nomi Stone, Tobias Sturt, Eliza Swann, Wally Swist, Kristen Tauer, Daphne Taylor, Charles Theonia, Dave Thrasher,TC Tolbert, Ed Toney, Stacey Toth, John J Trause, Jason Treuting, Christine Trudeau, Jack Tricarico, Daniel Trueman, Carrie Elston Tunick, Joanna Valente, Zane Van Dusen, Doug Van Dundy, Royce Vavrek, Morgan Vo, Patrick Wang, Randi Ward, Shannon Camlin Ward, Barrett Warner, Kristina Warren, Phyllis Wat, Abigail Welhouse, Elizabeth Clark Wessel, Ben Wiessner, Tishon Woolcock, Anton Yakovlev, Joo Young Choi, Don Zirilli, Laura Zuspan…and more! we update as frequently as we can!