• ELÆ | [Lynne DeSilva-Johnson]

    Change agent working at the intersection of social and creative practice , transformationAL EDUCATION, and archive-facing radical publishing, informed by somatic and systemic reprogramming.




    download full cv Here.

  • what drives me

    Whether working with individuals, organizations, classrooms, or communities, 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, the way in which we perceive and live in our bodies and the world. I conceive of my work (indeed, of all creative practice) as an intentional engagement with our uniquely human capacity for interfacing with all form of sentient and energetic matter, in which agentive process allows for the shifting of narratives and outcomes at a quantum level beyond the linear timeline to which we are accustomed / attuned.

    Inspired by biological, digital, and other nonhuman systems -- and committed to considering our impact, always, on our lived environment -- my passion is helping others to engage in, learn (and build!) creative, widely accessible, agile, sustainable, efficient practices and models for the best possible life lived here, together, in the capitalo/cthulu/anthropo-cene (such as it is), and to encourage Open Source / P2P sharing of our learning along the way, for the good of the whole.


    As a creative practitioner and a publisher, I am driven by a concern with the future of the archive as well as the ontological repercussions of that future. I strive to make, publish, and archive radical, experimental, critical work and process material that represents the most original (never the most popular) thinking happening today, most in danger of being lost to the record in an age of capital media control and a move to digitalization.


    You can read more about my philosophy and work here, here, and here, and find projects and publications at The Operating System.


    If you're looking for a formal / complete CV, a PDF is available here.




  • Happenings : CURRENT


    [also see the OS events calendar for curated / hosted events and others planned with collaborators in my capacity as Creative Director of the Operating System]





    11/14 - "Publishing Practice in the Digital Age" - Public Workshop / Lecture for the Queens Public Library's "Indie Authors Day" 2020 Program [Online]


    9/27 - “Archive, Mesh & Spore: Speculative Infrastructures for an Abolitionist Future,” closing session for the XIV Annual NYC Anarchist Bookfair. [online, now archived.]


    7/29 - FUGUE STATE: An interdisciplinary embodied anti capital exorcism / Alter/Altar group performance [online]


    7/23 - 9/10 - Polyphonic Intersubjectivities: Mycelial Assemblage Beyond the Capitalocene - 6 week interdisciplinary workshop, online at Liminal Lab (co-taught with rotating collaborators)


    7/3/20 - “Art and Advocacy in Times of Crisis,” panel talk given alongside Orchid Tierney, for Secluded: A Virtual Writing Conference. [Online -- live, now archived.]


    6/23 - 7/28: "Alter / Altar III : Animal, Anarchy, Alchemy, Archive" - 6 week interdisciplinary workshop, online at Liminal Lab


    5/20 - “Sonic-Somatic Disruptor Mechanisms / Neural Poetics” - Performance with accompanying public score, for Our Bodies in Language: A Series, hosted and curated by Edwin Torres. [Online, with George Quasha, Christine Wertheim, Rodrigo Toscano and Gina Bonati.]


    April-May: Merce Cunningham’s “50 Looks,” performance video series for IGTV: “Optimistic,” “With a warm embrace, come what may,” “Humility,” “Book of Travelers.” [Online]

    March-May: “Speculative Solidarity,” 7-part video series for IGTV [Archived on YouTube]: “Breaking Up with Capitalism / Relanguaging for (r)Evolution,” “Cancel Everything: Redistribution, Rent Strike, and More Re-languaging,” “The Work of Worlding: Rewriting Roles, Reclaiming Self,” “Cultivating Compassion: Invite vs. Attack,” “Transmutations: Befriend, Acknowledge, Articulate,” “Neuroplastic Somatic Biohack,” “An Exorcise Exercise.” [Online]


    3/ 14: performer at Bilingual Poetry Series @ Tompkins Square Library, curated by Marta López Luaces


    3/4-7: "Writing Across Multilingual Networks," ALTA sponsored panel @ AWP 2020 San Antonio. Moderator/panelist, with Gabrielle Civil, Sawako Nakayasu, Raquel Salas Rivera, and Orchid Tierney.


    3/5: OS Marathon Reading @ Sala Diaz, San Antonio, TX


    2/21: Matters of Feminist Practice launch @ Printed Matter


    1/30: Anonymous Manifesto at the Poetry Project (Facilitator/Group Leader)


    1/26: Alter/Altar Workshop Reading and Zine release at Quimby's Brooklyn


    1/21: Protagony: A Panoply Performance Lab Project @ Vital Joint, as part of the Exponential Festival


    1/1 : Poetry Project Annual Marathon Reading (Hybrid Participatory Audio Performance)





    12/14: A Matinee: Reading / Performance at Berl’s Poetry Bookshop with Richard Lucyshyn, Anna Gurton-Wachter, Adam Tedesco and Elæ.


    12/12: “How to Human: Disruptor Mechanism Protocol Training Level I,” presented as part of the Performing Knowledge Festival, The Segal Center Theater @ CUNY Graduate Center. 4:30 pm, as part of all-day programming.


    11/7-11: APRIORI: Making Seed Packets for your AI; installation, presentation and workshop @ SLSA 2019, Experimental Engagements, Irvine, CA.


    10/27-12/7 : APRIORI installed as part of the "Queer Paranormal" exhibit @ VAPA Usdan Gallery, Bennington College.

    10/15-11/20 : ALTER|ALTAR II : sigil, soma, score, salve : facilitating a 6 week experimental poetics workshop @ Poets House


    9/22 : "Can This Machine Kill Facists?" panel at Boog City / Unnameable Books. With Alex Crowley, Joey De Jesus, and Zefyr Lisowski.


    9/20-22: Studio Open House! come visit me, see new work and OS books for Bushwick Open Studios @ 1329 Willoughby Ave, #212-5

    9/19-22 : "Writing and Performance Across Multilingual Networks," [Virtual] Panelist @ &Now 2019, "Points of Convergence," Bothell WA, with Gabrielle Civil, Angel Dominguez, Sawako Nakayasu and Orchid Tierney.


    9/5-9/9 : Featured Installation / Open Work-Stations Practice, with APRIORI, STWST48x5 STAY UNFINISHED / Ars Electronica 2019, "Out of the Box," Linz, Austria [APRIORI STWST site HERE]

    9/7: SPECULATIVE RESILIENCE :: RADICAL PRACTICES TOWARDS FUTURITY [A LIBRARY and LAB/PLAY SPACE] installation / intervention at the 13th Annual Anarchist Bookfair @ Judson Church


    9/4 : Curator :: Ars Poetica @ the Algoquin Hotel :: Gen(d)(e)r(e) Non Conforming:: feat. Joey De Jesus, Zoe Tuck, Joanna C. Valente & Berry Grass.


    7/31 : Featured Performer / Co-Curator :: Ars Poetica @ the Algoquin Hotel, NY :: Nature/Nurture: A Queering :: feat. Elæ, Kristen Gallagher, Chris Campanioni, and Adrian Silbernagel


    7/28 : Featured Performer for Yes Poetry @ the New York Poetry Festival on Governor's Island


    5/17: Publishing Panel for Emerging Poets Fellows @ Poets House, with Parisa Ebrahimi of Chatto Press (UK).


    5/13-16 : Entanglements : A Conference on the Intersections of Poetry, Science, and Art @ Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC


    4/16: Unmanned Suitcase in Space : featured performer, with Jessica Rae Bergamino, Filip Marinovich, Peter Milne Greiner and Joanna C. Valente @ Quimby's Brooklyn


    4/1: featured performer, Ars Poetics Presents VOCÊ: "AMAZON" @ Bowery Poetry, NYC


    3/30: featured performer, Be About It / Yes Poetry AWP Offsite reading, Portland, OR


    3/28 : featured performer, Center Justify: An AWP Offsite Reading @ Native American Student and Community Center, Portland, OR


    3/16: featured performer, St. Rocco's reading for the dispossessed with Lori Anderson Moseman and Matt Klane @ Albany, NY


    3/8: performer / facilitator, Stone Soup @ Berl's Brooklyn Poetry Shop w/ Chiwan Choi, Kenning JP Garcia, Liz Bowen, Sparrow, Nada Faris and more, Brooklyn, NY


    1/24-1/26 : workshop facilitator, Collaborative Precarity Bodyhacking, with stormy budwig and Cory Tamler; part of 'resistance fantasies,' at Target Margin's Doxsee Theater, Brooklyn NY




    Nonlinear Alchemical Disruptor Mechanism Spellwork :: background, practice and strategy


    Herein are proposed three correlated modes of operationalizing concrete disruption,

    • A Type: Diachronic Biophilic Recode
    • B Type: Speculative Linguistic Model
    • C Type: Neuroplastic Somatic Biohack
    In 2019 over a decade of work was reframed and understood as nonlinearly conceived and instituted elements of a larger project towards system change in the interest of preserving the species, connected to speculative / channelled information from a future society known as the Fewkin, of which Elæ, Systems Doula, is our medium of communication and transmitter of strategic information. The set of Spellwork Strategies for self hacking outlined here have their linear roots, in this timeline, in the History laid out here. They are connected to workshops, writing, curriculum, tools, and other projects both past and forthcoming.




    In the mid 2000's I became interested in culture jamming and biohacking, and alongside my own processes of attempting to heal my body and rewire my internal mechanisms, I began investigations around how to agentively reprogram the human organism, perhaps even causing ourselves to "auto-evolve" horizontally within a generation. As these theories became increasingly informed by quantum theory as well as mystical and medicine traditions, temporal linearity as a restriction for evolutionary change fell away and shifted these earlier strategies. However, I continued to build on them and sought ways in which we could work with the body, language, sensory engagement, material practice and tech to train and re-train ourselves within what we perceive as a linear lifetime. These interfaced with experimental creative practice and installation, often playing on and with institutional / popular aesthetics around "data" or "expertise," in art, social, and academic spaces, as well as through leading workshops and through ongoing personal ritual / experimentation.




    The culmination of many years of collective futurist and peer2peer experimentation, the international Next Edge community gathered in Montreal in 2015 for the unconference-style Next Edge summit. Here I offered an early How to Human workshop, working with written and oral language as well as with embodied/somatic practice to make conscious and begin to hack our internal system programming.


    Beginning in January 2018, I began facilitating a series about Building Interpersonal Infrastructures (see more here), with sessions focusing on chosen kinship networks, illness, creative practice, and another specifically addressing the needs of small publishers. The first session, focused on system building for women, trans, and gender nonconforming creative practitioners, was presented in collaboration with SOHO20 Gallery on 1/21. (More details at event listing, here.)


    As a featured speaker and workshop leader at the Feminist Poetics, Emergent Pedagogies symposium in Los Angeles in I continued this work through my hybrid writing / embodiment workshop, "emBODY Work / Student emBODY :: The Radical Recentering of Somatic Experience in Practices and Pedagogy"; and then through the "Cartographies of Erasure" public workshop at Occidental College.


    This evolved into the multimedia lecture, "How to Human: Creative self-hacking for growth in traumatic times," given at WEIRDD/Books are Magic in 2018 in Brooklyn, building both on this year's earlier work as well as the "How to Human" linguistic/ neuro-reprogramming experimentation I rolled out initially at the Next Edge summit.


    In January 2019, this work was re-imagined and offered as "Collaborative Precarity Bodyhacking," a series of two interdisciplinary workshops, presented in collaboration with Stormy Budwig and Cory Tamler as part of resistance fantasies: strategies for moving toward—and against— as part of the Exponential Festival, at the Target Margin Theater in Brooklyn.


    Related recent publications include "Troubling (Dis)embodied Practice and Pedagogy in Bioprecarious Times : Operations Towards a Radical Recentering," (in Feminist Practices, Emergent Pegagogies, forthcoming, Eohippus Labs); "Par, Muddy, Sibter, Nibling, and Sprog : Languaging a Future for Lovepersons," (in the Transgender Narratives Anthology); "And I in the middle-ground found: Documentation as Self-hack, Sigil, and Blueprint," (in Matters of Feminist Practice, inaugural print issue; Belladonna*), and the Panthalassa Pamphlet In Memory of Feasible Grace.





    At its core, #DocumentingPresence is a project of intentional pause, of mindful attention, and of the belief that engaging in what Ursula K. LeGuin writes of in Always Coming Home as processes of the “hand-mind,” those that “slow down to the gait of things” assist us in nourishing and encouraging our curiousity, in waking up our sensory attentions, in what is simultaneously a quieting and an amping up, with discernment. The #DocumentingPresence Field Guide (coming soon), which is currently in beta-testing (in use by myself as well as game collaborators Zoe Tuck and Joe Cosmo Cogen) helps us break the empty page’s expectant pressure by removing the notion that “inspiration” is the necessary ingredient for an active and meaningful creative practice, inviting anyone regardless of “role” or “position” into the process of noting and documenting items for “Field Notes” in various categories: Soma, Stories, Flora, Fauna, Senses, Sites, and so on. In the tradition of Fluxus, this practice indeed hopes to help us purge the notions of ownership of art-making and creative value judgement, returning the tools of noting, marking, and other human modes of interpolating sense and body, for recording and sharing and learning our world, back to everyday, with no expectation or idealization in form or content beyond the doing of it.


    One visible, experiment calling for participation begins in July 2019 with #SHELFIE. Read more at #SHELFIE: #DocumentingPresence :: A Practice in Public :: Introduction and Invitation on Medium.







    My out of print chapbooks, GROUND and blood atlas, are back in print, in new editions! You can order these (as well as my hybrid zine, Progeny Restoration Corporation,) directly via The Operating System store or through IndieBound (and yes, the big one too, but please don't use it if you don't have to.)


    Stay tuned for Overview Effect in a new edition, a collaborative volume, Body Oddy Oddy, with painter Georgia Elrod, and Sweet & Low, a short hybrid volume of recent interdisciplinary and para-academic works. I'm also in the final lap of reviewing and pulling together the materials as editor for the In Corpore Sano: Creative Practice and the Challenged Body anthology, which is forthcoming.


    I'm currently working on a book of essays, a multi-part speculative narrative with workshop, performance, and philosophical components, a number of open-source workbooks around the HOW TO HUMAN workshop series, the social practice project-fieldguide-notebook "Documenting Presence," a long hybrid-para-academic text, and an epistolary project in collaboration with Zoe Tuck.

  • HAPPENINGS: 2017-2018




    12/6: Host / speaker, launch of Chloë Bass's "The Book of Everyday Instruction" monograph at CUE Art Foundation
    11/27: featured performer at WEIRDD @ Vital Joint, Brooklyn
    10/21: reading as part of the Unnameable Books Amherst Grand Opening Extravaganza (3 pm)

    10/20: leading a 'Publishing 101' session at the Queens Library for "Indie Author Day 2018"

    10/5-7: &Now Festival of Innovative Writing : panelist, "Working Abundancies: Writing in the Margins of the Neoliberal University" moderated by Magdalena Zurawski with Johnny Damm and Margaret Rhee, Notre Dame, IN

    9/23: LUNGS Loisada United Neighborhood Gardens 7th Annual Harvest Arts Festival: reading at 6BC Botanical Garden, 3pm

    9/15: Panelist: Publishing as a Tool of Resistance, Radical Press Fest @ Interference Archive

    7/29: NYC Poetry Festival, Governor's Island: featured performer for Yes Poetry

    7/24: Rainbows Queer Text Reading Series HOT! Festival Performance @ Dixon Place, 7pm: featured performer alongside JK. (HOT! FESTIVAL, is the longest-running annual LGBTQ festival in the world, a pioneer of queer arts and culture for 27 years!)

    7/21: Black Sun Lit presents Vi Khi Nao's Sheep Machine at Unnameable Books: featured reader with Vi Khi Nao, Brenda Iijima, and Erin Fleming

    6/29: WEIRDD reading series @ Books are magic BK :: Wildcard Lecture on "How to Human: Evolutionary Selfhacking for Traumatizing Times," alongside poetry readings from Joey De Jesus, Jerome Murphy, and Jen Levitt
    6/7: featured panelist: Lambda Literary Panel, "Queer Women in Writing," at the NYC Department of Education's Sexuality, Women and Gender Conference, at LaGuardia HS.

    5/27: Supplement v. 2 Launch Reading in West Philly

    5/26: Featured performer / hosting OS Pop Up at "How to Build a Feminist Public" at SOHO20 Gallery, 12-6pm

    5/25: Featured Storyteller at How to Build a Fire Season 4 Finale @ Open Source Gallery

    [event livestream video archive here; my segment starts at 1:45]

    5/19: Featured Storyteller at Shadow Traffic : Constellations of Ego @ secret BK location, 7:30

    5/14: OS West cOaSt & Friends at Other Books LA

    5/13 : Workshop Facilitator: "Cartographies of Erasure," in collaboration with Alex Juhasz's #100hardtruths-#fakenews radical media literacy project @ Occidental College.

    5/11-12: Workshop Facilitator: "emBODY Work / Student emBODY: The Radical Recentering of Somatic Experience in Practice and Pedagogy." @ Feminist Poetics, Emergent Pedagogies Symposium: Los Angeles, CA:: Featured Workshop Facilitator and Performer; reading at Poetic Research Bureau.

    5/2: Reading (the) Now: Panel on the Contemporary @ NYU, with Asha Ganpat
    4/26 : From Below: Poetry and Social Justice, Panelist / Reader @ Interference Archive, with Cyrée Jarelle Johnson and Jennifer Bartlett.

    4/17: Guest Artist Workshop : Writer’s Studio, Pratt MFA; Brooklyn, NY
    4/15: How We Create and How We Cope: Rough Draft Festival; Queens, NY

    4/12: Featured Reader, Greetings Reading Series, Unnameable Books, Brooklyn

    4/10: Featured Performer, Multi-Pulls: Poetry & Performance @ KGB BAR
    3/10 : COVEN: A Murmuration: Offsite Tampa Reading with Amy Saur-Zerby, Kenning JP Garcia, Joanna Valente, Hannah Cohen, Peter Milne Greiner, & Stephanie Valente.
    3/8-3/9: Panels: "What Section of the Bookstore Does it Go? The Challenges of Marketing Hybrid Books," "Complex Narratives: A VIDA Voices & Views Disability Focus Interview," "Heads in the Cloud: A Consideration of Poetics and Technology" @ AWP Tampa, FL
    1/26: How to Build a Fire: RE/NEW @ Open Source Gallery [livestream archive here]
    1/24 : Voices of #Metoo @ Spoonbill Studio, Brooklyn, NY
    1/21: Building Interpersonal Infrastructures @ SOHO20, Brooklyn, NY
    1/14 : Church of the Sacred Body @ LIC Bar, Queens, NY
    1/11 : Poets Settlement Season 3 Finale @ Colony 274, Brooklyn, NY
    1/7 : The Once and Future Poem @ Quimby’s NYC, Brooklyn NY



    10/27: Launch Reading for Ivy Johnson's Born Again, at VON, with special guests Dorothea Lasky and Jasmine Gibson
    10/16: A Bilingual Launch and Celebration for Kawsay, at McNally Jackson Williamsburg, with María Vázquez Valdez, Margaret Randall, Urayoán Noel, Elizabeth Zuba, Lorenzo Bueno, and Lila Zemborain
    5/14: OS West cOaSt & Friends at Other Books, in collaboration with Kaya Press, Los Angeles CA
    3/29: Jazzercise is a Language Launch @ L’etage, Philadelphia PA with Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, Julia Bloch and Caolan Madden
    3/22: Jazzercise is a Language Launch @ VON, New York, NY with Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, Kristen Gallagher and Uche Nduka

    3/4 : We Hereby Declare: Executive Orders @ Quimby’s, Brooklyn NY, in collaboration with Organism for Poetic Research
    1/29: One More Revolution / Wake | Rise launch and performance @ Happy Lucky No. 1, with Andrea Mazzariello and David Degge, Brooklyn NY
    1/18: Sharing Plastic Launch @ The Leeway Foundation with blake nemec, Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, Orchid Tierney, and Melissa Johnson Valenzuela , Philadelphia PA
    1/17: Sharing Plastic Launch @ Bluestockings with blake nemec, Tennessee Jones, Trace Peterson and Lara Lorenzo, New York, NY
    1/7: The Once and Future Poem @ Quimby’s NYC, Brooklyn, NY



    12/12: Dixon Place Queer Art Organics Feature

    12/12: Live Mag! Launch @ LaMama
    11/24: Knife | Fork | Book with Sarah Pinder & Judith Goldman
    11/3 : Guest Artist Lecture, Friends Seminary
    10/12: Poets Settlement Featured Performer

    10/6: Queerings @ Bluestockings
    9/18: Boog City Festival @ Unnameable Books
    9/5: Backroom Broadsides @ Fox & Crow
    8/16: I Love John Giorno @ Artists Space
    8/6: Great Weather for Media @ Parkside Lounge
    7/16: WCKR Studio A Live Performance and Interview
    5/21: Triangle Quarterly Reading @ Bowery Poetry
    4/23-5/21 : Alter/Altar Workshop @ Bowery Poetry
    4/16: Resist Much / Obey Little @ Queens Museum

    3/19: The Business of Poetry @ Bowery Poetry
    1/6: GAMBA Zine & Brooklyn Wildlife @ Hell Phone


    HOST/CURATOR, 2017

    11/4 Executive Orders Public Writing @ Brooklyn Public Library w OPR

    10/11 LCHF Launch @ Wythe Hotel
    10/3 Technicians of the Sacred @ HOWL Happening
    9/18 Small Press Union @ Brooklyn Book Festival
    9/16 Books for Sale or Trade Reading @ Philalalia
    9/11 OS / Bowery Books Patrick Roche Chapbook Launch @ Bowery
    8/11 The Furies Launch @ VON
    7/23 Read & Feed at Basilica Hudson
    7/2 Altar/Alter reading at Bowery Poetry

    6/10-11 OS @ Artists & Fleas Williamsburg, BK
    6/3 OS Chapbook Series 5-yr celebration
    5/20 Weights & Measures: Damm / Pinder / Meissner @ Stonefruit
    5/13 Institute of Public Knowledge Print Festival

    5/5 PEN/CLMP Press Festival
    4/28 Zieher Smith Annual Indie Book Fair
    3/10: ACLU People Power Workshop @ BGSQD
    2/17-19: Boog City 10.5 Festival Curator @ Unnameable Books / Sidewalk Cafe
    2/8-11: AWP Washington DC Bookfair
    1/8: To Have Been There Then Launch & Reading @ Bowery


    (For a full history of my past performances, lectures, etc, you may find my CV here. For a full calendar of past OS events, check the OS happenings page.)


    My immense gratitude goes out to the colleagues, collaborators, teachers and friends who follow, I am humbled by these words. May I only hope to live up to their promise.

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    Bob Holman


    Founder/proprietor of the Bowery Poetry Club, Artistic Director of Bowery Arts + Science. “Ringmaster of the Spoken Word”, “Poetry Czar”, “Dean of the Scene."


    "Lynne DeSilva-Johnson is a poet of the New and the Forever, the Work It and the Deep Disengage. To hear her speak of her work is to hear of the work of a world of work -- poets from all over, each unique, each quality engaged in a flight of essence. And then there is her own writing, which is steering the planet. L DeS-J: Live LIke Her."

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    Co-Founder, Mycelium School; TEDx Keynote Speaker; writer on leadership, social entrepreneurship, education and innovation for Stanford Social Innovation Review, The Guardian, The NYTimes, GOOD Magazine, and The Matador Network



    "Lynne is dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying the essential work of our times. She has proven her ability to produce and create value in a world that often doesn't value the resilient thinking and imagination Lynne brings. It is her work that will support and catalyze the evolution our social systems."

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    Shamanic practitioner and teacher in the Andean Tradition; a legacy carrier in the Peruvian medicine way. Eileen is a Chakaruna – a bridge person, and teaches out of Beacon, NY, at Omega Institute and elsewhere.


    "I had the great good fortune to sit with sister Lynne while she personally and lovingly and patiently dragged me into creating my own website. Did I mention she did not charge me because we are dear friends??


    "She was determined that I should not be disempowered by tech or held hostage to someone I did not know for design and upkeep.  She insisted that I learn the technology so that I would come to understand how easy it is.


    "It built my confidence wildly as well as reaffirmed my faith in human nature.

    I love Lynne with all my heart. She has a heart of pure gold which is often not an easy heart to have in this world!"

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    Longtime poet, activist, and musician hailing from the Lower East Side of Manhattan and a member of the New York-based literary group the Unbearables. Co-founder and lyricist for Foamola, the only anti-rock band named after an herbal arthritis remedy.



    "Lynne is really a remarkable person – with the energy of about five mortals – compelled to transform the sluggish & incontinent discourse of our age.

    "Lynne has the fire of Emma Goldman and the ice of Simone Weil. 


    "Lynne is the kind of person Leonard Cohen would write a song about."


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    Steven Swartz


    Founder, DotDotDot Music



    "Lynne DeSilva-Johnson an inspired creator, a socio-cultural connector, an artistic agitator, and so much more. As the driving force behind The Operating System, she has provided a potent platform for long-form arts writing, enticing creative minds across multiple disciplines to contribute and converse. She is a humanist in the best, most classic sense: passionate about discovery and mindful of the many ways life is lived."

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    Ammiel Alcalay


    Essayist, Editor, Translator, Poet, Critic, Activist, Scholar; Professor, CUNY Graduate Center and Queens College


    "Lynne DeSilva-Johnson is extraordinary in all ways: using vision, intelligence, passion, ingenuity, pragmatism, actual real-life savvy, experience, & a host of skills that I couldn’t even begin to count, she has created vibrant projects that transform themselves into lasting relationships which have an actual impact on the quality of life as we now attempt living it."

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    Alexis Quinlan


    Poet, Freelance Writer and Editor, Faculty at Fordham University 

    "Lynne DeSilva-Johnson is a writer, editor, publisher, promoter and general force of nature. I met her a few years ago when she was working on a few of her own fascinating creative projects involving poetry and process. She was also at the time at the helm of The Operating System [beta] (back to that later), putting out a journal, maintaining a couple of websites, curating Only What I Can, teaching at CUNY, and, not incidentally, publishing chapbooks.


    "Indeed, she threw herself into the project of publishing a set of four chapbooks for four other admired poets, including myself. In the publishing itself, she created a wholly Aquarian system of equal input and constant communication and group effort, but it was her effort that was most amazing, her whirling dervish of orchestration, with her sublimely in the center, and centered."


    "Somebody should give this person a lot of money."

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    Martha Lincoln


    Anthropologist / Research Fellow / Professor ; University of California at Berkeley 




    "Lynne gives the impression of intellectual and creative fearlessness. In her work as an educator-writer-publisher-critic-designer-activist, she reminds me a bit of Susan Sontag (for the seriousness of her interdisciplinary practice) or Laurie Anderson (for the breadth and creativity of her undertakings and interests)."


    "Particularly impressive are Lynne's publications for The Operating System, which evince some sincerely humanistic values: a revival of print, a love of craft, an ethos of independence, and investment in generating space for an artistic community to form."


    "In order to change an existing paradigm you do not struggle to try and change the problematic model. You create a new model and make the old one obsolete." 

    - R. Buckminster Fuller

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    The Operating System

    Boog City

    Brooklyn Arts Press
    Exit Strata
    306090 Books



    Founder / Managing Editor

    2013 - Present

    [formerly Exit Strata, 2011-2013]


    My efforts in collaborative place-making and entrepreneurship have evolved into the platform/organization/press with a tongue-in-cheek name, The Operating System -- so named as a nod to our need to continually "update" our personal programming if we are to remain agile, thriving creators.

    The Operating System creates space for interdisciplinary inspiration, collaboration, dialogue, and empowerment -- with an ultimate goal of modelling entrepreneurial behaviors and patterns for creative individuals from all backgrounds, inspired greatly by the Open Source, P2P, and Collaborative Economics communities.


    In the digital realm, I manage, edit, and curate our web series, solicit and dialogue with contributors, and am responsible for the production and coordination of all daily content for our robust online magazine.

    On the ground, I organize, facilitate and curate workshops, salons, performances, exhibits and other events, and work closely with other community organizations on collaborative ventures.


    Our publishing arm aims to model sustainable behaviors via archiving and documentation, serving as a training for creatives and other organizations. We print using a creative commons license, and our catalogue to date and forthcoming boasts nearly 40 original books of art and writing.


    The online platform is the most robust, however, an ongoing exercise in generating lasting value via documentation around creative practice and ephemeral performance/exhibition which includes the work of now over 400 contributors. Our most popular series, annual for the month of April, just ran for its 5th year, with 150 archived essays for personal and classroom use.

    As the mission of the organization is collaborative process and support for artists across all disciplines, I have been instrumental in the creation and sustenance of interdisciplinary dialogue/opportunities for community interaction via the establishment of the Collaborative Content model, which brings together all accepted contributors with other community members to facilitate creative projects for both online and print circulation/publication.


    Related experience:


    Boog City

    Libraries Editor



    306090 Books

    (Architecture, Planning, and Design)

    Assistant Editor



    Breaking the Silence

    (Literary, Art, Peace Studies)

    Cofounder / Editor



    Editor / Manuscript Preparation

    Michael Sorkin Studio, Urban Design, NYC


    Academic Editor / Manuscript Preparation

    Ida Susser, Anthropologist, NYC


    Editor / Ghostwriter / Manuscript Preparation

    Prominent Architect, NYC


    In-house publications / branding / intranet design and copy: The Phillips Group, Starfish Theaterworks, Greenlight Pictures, The I Do Foundation, etc. (See Management/Consulting)


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    Pratt InSTITUTE

    Bowery arts & Science

    City University of New York

    How To Human
    Salvadori Institute

    Friends Seminary

    Visiting Assistant Professor, Humanities and Media Studies; Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY



    The Architecture Writing Program: Language/Making is a transdisciplinary initiative that aims to conduct research so as to encourage the development of experimental studies in philosophy, critical theory and poetics across the various disciplines which support architectural practice. The innovative faculty and student driven exchange of transdisciplinary research is made possible by the integration of language and architecture as a site of new possible futures in collective knowledge.


    Language operates in multiple forms so as to create new structures between language and architecture in the conceptualization and contextualization of architectural form in a range of performances. Conscious of the possibility that architecture can be generative of new types of sensitivity to the body and inner subjectivity in relationship to space, and new forms of knowledge and understanding of the world, the program seeks to locate a critical position from within the production of architecture as it responds to theory, criticism, philosophy, literature and film.


    Adjunct Lecturer, CCNY and Baruch Colleges, City University of New York



    As an adjunct in the English, Architecture, and Anthropology Departments within the CUNY system, I had the opportunity to develop broad curricular methodology that I tailored to the needs of a variety of critical writing-intensive courses for one of the most diverse student bodies in the world.

    This approach to teaching writing is loosely based around an understanding of the linguistically observed phenomenon of "codeswitching," here applied as a functional, operative heuristic model from which to begin discerning how/when to communicate on a variety of levels.

    It is also linked to game theory, and provides students with a playful understanding of the constant dynamism/flexibility, and indeed absurdism that surrounds "language" in our hybrid, hyperreal culture -- as well as working against the false foundation set forth by our current educational system, that teaches humans to ignore and un-learn many of their native communicative instincts.


    More recently, as my work through The Operating System has evolved, I find myself relying on these communication skills more and more, and finding other creatives-turned-accidental-entrepreneurs deeply in need of them. Enter How To Human, a self-hacking system for mindful awareness and communication optimization -- with self-directed resources and a workshop model, which I rolled out at the Next Edge Festival in Montreal.

    My methodology is predicated on the belief that teaching writing/thinking in a vacuum, without the curricular transparency that provides a native intelligence with its own clear agenda -- an understanding of the role and use of academic or standard languages within a system within a larger system -- is at the root of the "poor writing" epidemic we are experiencing institution-wide.

    It is essential that we begin to teach "writing" as an extension of a dynamic system of critical analysis, perception, and rational intention -- as something native to each and every one of us. It is our intelligence that rails against the institutional suggestion that this is the "right" way to communicate. Instead of fighting and demeriting our children/students, it is time our systems came to encourage and provide tools for the real, complex environment in which they live.

    Related Experience:


    Friends Seminary

    [Quaker K-12 Day School, New York City]
    Per Diem and Extended Programs Instructor



    Salvadori Institute

    [Architecture/ Design / STEM Education, NYC]

    Mentor/Charrette Facilitator



    Swarthmore-Rutlege School

    [K-8 Day School, Swarthmore, PA]

    Foreign Language Program Lead, Instructor



    Chester Boys Choir, Chester PA

    Assistant to Conductor / Music Instructor


    Brooklyn Botanic Garden Children's Garden

    Urban Agriculture Educator / Instructor




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    The Trouble With Bartleby


    Blogger / New Media Advocate

    2002 - Present



    The truest thing about TTWB is that it is a shifting, dynamic, piece of work, always "under construction" ...just like its author.

    It began as a personal project, in 2002, a place to publicly continue both the creative and analytic writing that had always been central to my work, but which had grown in scope and a desire to be turned towards public service during my time at Swarthmore (1997-2001).

    It became and remains an experimental ground for the power of the individual when connected to the rhizomatic, utopian NET-work that the internet laid at our feet. It has been through this blog (started at a time when most people needed me to explain what a blog was and why on earth I was keeping one) that I came to teach myself and begin to advocate the social power of media tools -- something that has consistently become more central and essential in my work and platform.

    Through further work in academia, arts and community organizing, social and political movements, and participation in the nascent and then explosive realms of citizen journalism and other "social" media offerings, this self-publishing platform has remained a chronological document of both my personal growth and of the times.

    It has been a place of philosophical and psychological inquiry, and over the years has grown to have an active and responsive subscribers list via email -- so that the site does not require dedicated page views (something increasingly unlikely given our climate of overload).

    It is, and has been for a decade, a publishing platform - and so it is under the umbrella of The Trouble With Bartleby that I published my two chapbooks, GROUND and Blood Atlas, in 2012.

    In recognition of this original effort and as a nod to the shared, auto-evolutionary purpose of the traditional chapbook model and the blog, the annual chapbook series of The Operating System continues to be published under The Trouble With Bartleby moniker.

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    Business / Arts / Nonprofit Management / Editing / Writing / Design / Marketing / Media

    1999 - Present



    For more than a decade I have provided both on site and virtual support for a range of arts organizations and independent contractors in the establishment, systemization, management, and successful facilitation of their business needs.

    From pre-launch research and analysis to business plan writing, website and identity design, presskits and promotional material design; newsletters; grantwriting and the establishment of non-profit/501c3 status; to onsite organization of the physical site, team building / HR advising, hiring, financial systems development and maintenance, tech/software advisement and install, and the daily administrative tasks of program, financial, and office management, and finally task-based writing, copyediting, and even ghostwriting -- I've become an essential asset and a trouble shooter for a sizable list of clients, including:

    The Public Theatre/Joe's Pub
    Michael Sorkin Studio [Urban Design]
    Urbane Development/Bodega Chronicles [Food Advocacy]
    The I Do Foundation [Philanthropy/Digital Media]
    Aeropostale, Inc [Fashion]
    Fort Greene Compost Project/GROW NYC [Waste Mgmt.]
    Empowered Painters [Community Activism/Job Training]
    TPG / The Phillips Group [Architecture/Interior Design]
    Starfish Theatreworks [Education/Theatre]
    Greenlight Pictures [Film]
    AAM Design [Design Build/Architecture]
    Knit New York [Retail/Fiber Arts]
    The Lion and the Lamb [Retail/Fiber Arts]
    Steadman Acupuncture [Eastern Medicine/Research]
    Daphne Taylor [Quiltmaker]
    Phyllis Trout [Printmaker]
    Tom DiMauro [Photographer]
    Eileen O'Hare [Healing Arts]


    Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. - Andy Warhol

    Teaching, Coaching AND facilitation

    Writing, JOURNALISM and Research

    Publishing and Editing

    Curation and Design

    programming and curriculum development

    Project Management, publicity and Media


    “It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry; for this delicate little plant, aside from stimulation, stands mainly in need of freedom. Without this it goes to wrack and ruin without fail.” -- Albert Einstein

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    City University of New York Graduate Center

    Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Cultural Anthropology [coursework completed]

    w/ American Studies Certification 2005 – 2010


    Advisors and Key Influencers: Ammiel Alcalay, Vincent Crapanzano, Neil Smith, David Harvey, Leith Mullings; also extensive study through consortium at Columbia University under Mick Taussig. Assisted Neil Smith at the Center for Place Culture and Politics. 


    During my time completing my Masters in Urban Design, program director Michael Sorkin (who became my longtime freelance employer) urged me to enroll in courses at the GC with Neil Smith and Setha Low, as my anthropology background was deeply influencing my design work and I remained a committed scholar. The community was welcoming and a natural extension of my research both in undergrad as well as in my graduate degree.


    At the Graduate Center my interests in space and place would deepen and ground but also be shifted by fresh influence from linguistic anthropology. During this time, via a recommendation from dear friend and mentor Marshall Berman, I began teaching as a Chancellor's Fellow in the English Department of CUNY's City College of New York, which became as much of an education.

    After completing my coursework and recognizing the dire shifts in the current landscape of higher academia, I took a leave of absence and have yet to return, seeing more promise in entrepreneurial ventures and extra-academic learning environments. 

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    City University of New York City College

    Master of Urban Design Urban Design / Planning / Architecture 2003 – 2005


    Teaching Assistant, Undergraduate Architecture Studio, 2003-2005

    Advised/Mentored Launch of Award Winning Undergraduate Student Publication, "Informality"

    Long Time Panelist for Undergraduate Student Critiques

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    Swarthmore College

    BA / BS (Double Major) Studio Arts / Sociology-Anthropology 1997 – 2001


    Concentration in Interpretation Theory

    Thesis entitled "Measure-Twice, a Case for Socio-Spatial Practice," 2000-01, in collection of Tri-Co Library, PA (advised by Braulio Muñoz, Farha Ghannam.)

    Inaugural Solo Show, "Re/Presentations" at T. Kaori Kitao Art Gallery, 2000; Summer of Service Grant Recipient, 2000;  Solo Show, "InterMEDIAry" at List Gallery, 2001.

    Activities: Campus Advisor, Resident Advisor, Student Arts Association, Sexual Health Peer Counselor, Women's Rugby, Chorale, Early Music Ensemble

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    Feel free to contact me if you'd like to work together or have any comments or questions! I look forward to hearing from you.


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