When you read about Fab Labs or Maker spaces, what picture comes to mind?  3D printers? Aquaponics? Robotics? Hackathons?

How about art?

Third-party corporate platforms for artists are ubiquitous – from Soundcloud to Deviant Art to Create Space. Artist cooperatives have been in existence for over a century.  Combining the two into an open source publishing platform seems inevitable.

But rather than a platform, Lynne Desilva Johnson is creating The Operating System.

Extracted from https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/yes-and-the-operating-system-2-0#/

We’re an arts and education organization that’s taken a page from the tech community’s Open Source and Peer to Peer initiatives, approaching the act of publishing with the belief that the documentation, distribution, and archiving of creative practice (understood broadly) can be revolutionary for individuals and organizations — and indeed for our society as a whole.

In addition to running workshops, facilitating conversations and panels, curating exhibits, and gathering free, open learning resources from all over the world, we also publish online and off: we’re best known for the small press that operates under The Operating System umbrella, which has published over 20 books to date (and which will publish 20 more in the next 18 months).

We facilitate many of these books from their onset, working closely with collaborators from a wide range of disciplines, backgrounds, and countries. The ultimate goal, though, is to cross pollinate not only between different disciplines within the arts but also within different industries, in the service of peer to peer learning both immediately and in the future, via the development of open source / archival materials.


The name “THE OPERATING SYSTEM” is meant to speak to an understanding of the self as a constantly evolving organism, which just like any other system needs to learn to adapt if it is to survive. Just like your computer, you need to be “updating your software” frequently, as your patterns and habits no longer serve you.


I learned a big lesson about modeling, which is something that entrepreneurs often talk about: I realized that it would be really helpful to have a model of something I could do within my means that could serve as an example of the type of things that we could make, the type of things that could be possible in new ways, before really starting to move into the big ideas, because developing awareness of these models – and awareness of my approach (and of me, the fact of my existence, to these people that didn’t know me from Adam)—would start to build trust.

While we might be known best for our publishing projects, in fact we are a hub for a wide range of programs which seek to cross pollinate not only between different disciplines within the arts but also within different industries, in the service of peer to peer learning both immediately and in the future, via the development of open source / archival materials; in addition our own process has been transparent from day one, seeking to model possibility for others rather than competing with them.

While we’ve already published 20+ books and this campaign will support the publication of the next 20 (already slated for release through 1/2018), the impact of this funding is far greater: for our mission of facilitated creative documentation and archiving is achieved not only through our books but also through outreach, education and community programs on the ground, as well as via the continued development of online and multimedia resources.



The Operating System is always in the process of resilient reinvention. This platform was designed as a hub for forwardthinking, proactive creators — individuals and groups who wish to become more than the sum of our parts, together.

Current webcontent streams of production derive from all corners of The OS’s geographic and virtual community landscape – here,  collaborators, partners and contributors have an always available opportunity for online publication and dialogue, whether in a sustained fashion or in a single post.

This online home offers exclusive online content from artists, filmmakers, musicians, performers, and writers, as well as in depth profiles of the Awesome Creators who make up our global community, across a wide range of disciplines. This content aims to explore the processes that inform and facilitate creative production, valuating and documenting models for further dialogue, exploration, and co-collaborative discovery on and offline. It is meant as an archive, not a newspaper – this content remains searchable and viable for personal and public use from its inception, and it is hoped that it can become a teaching tool both for institutional use and autodidacts alike.

1 Comment Project Of The Day: The Operating System

  1. AvatarArtur

    The better idea would be to allocate the free system resources at all possible P2P hosts around the world. Users could get the much more resources when it needed but the rest time they will donate a little percent of own resources to the public cloud.

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