• Lynne DeSilva-Johnson

    Change agent working at the intersection of social entrepreneurship, transformational coaching, creative practice and publishing.

     

    #lifehacker.

    Whether working with individuals, organizations, 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 - 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.

     

     

  • NEWS anD ANNOUNCEMENTS

    PRESS

    New interviews are up about my work with The Operating System at Entropy's Small Press Database and at Culture Designers. Here, also, is an earlier, substantive interview with me about vision and practice for the groundbreaking avant-garde online magazine Wave Composition.

    I have accepted a position as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Pratt Institute, in Humanities and Media Studies. I am teaching transdisciplinary writing, literature and criticism for Architects.

    REcent / Forthcoming Publications

    Find my series on NEA Granted Arts Organization across the country at Drunken Boat/Anomaly. Also, find new poems in the forthcoming Bowery Poetry Anthology, The Brooklyn Poets Anthology; Vintage Magazine;  Resist Much / Obey Little : Inaugural Poems to the Resistance, (which I also designed and co-edited); hybrid work in PostBlank Zine's PostMortem issue, and a forthcoming Panthalassa Pamphlet from Tea & Tattered Pages Press.

    I offered a hybrid poetics / mixed media workshop at Bowery Arts and Science this spring, which will be offered again directly through The Operating System. Watch an introductory video about the class here!

    For 7 months I worked closely with Sō Percussion, and particularly with musician/composer Adam Sliwinski, on facilitating a taxonomic performance volume to accompany the premiere of their complex piece on gun culture at BAM, Nov 30-Dec 3. We were dedicated to sustaining ongoing dialogue, and collaborated with BAM and Storycorps to begin collecting community reflections both on site and online.

    THE OS IN PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

    My work developing the OS's new "Unsilenced Texts" series -- and in particular on the new Ashraf Fayadh's dual-language translation -- was featured in Publisher's Weekly, where the book was also reviewed. I was also interviewed for their "Lessons from Indie Poetry Presses" Feature.

    These mixed media illustrations were created to accompany part IV of Sarah Blake's serial poem, The Starship, on Berfrois.

  • out & about

    performances, lectures, panels, workshops, and other upcoming events

    (Please also visit The OS for The full calendar of events I curate / host!)

    Welcome to Boog city

    @ Sidewalk cafe

    featured performer

     

    September 18, 7-9 pm FREE

    i Love John Giorno CELEBRATION

    @ artists space

    featured performer

     

    August 16, 7- 9 pm, FREE

    Great weather for Media

    @ parkside lounge

    featured reader

     

    August 6, 4-6 pm, FREE

    The OS / Small press union

    @ artists & fleas williamsburg

    bringing indie presses to YOU!

     

    6/10-11; 6/24-25, 10am - 7pm

    Triangle quarterly reading

    @ bowery poetry

    featured reader in this quarterly series

     

    May 21, 6 pm

    PEN World VoiceS PRESS FEST

    @ washington Mews / NYU

    tabling for The Operating System

     

    May 5, 4-8 pm

    Resist much / obey little @ queens museum

    reader for anthology celebration

     

    April 16

    Indie Publishers Book Party

    @ ZieherSmith Gallery

    featuring 20 independent presses

     

    April 28, 6-8 pm

    Business of Poetry Panel

    @ Bowery Poetry

    panelist

    moderated by LA Markuson

     

    March 19, 2-4 pm, FREE

    ACLU People Power Training

    @ BGSQD

    Leading a Resistance Training for ACLU's People Power Movement

     

    March 11, 4:30 - 6:30 pm, FREE

  • TESTIMONIALS

    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.

    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."

    MATTHEW ABRAMS

     

    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."

    EILEEN O'HARE

     

    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!"

    SPARROW

     

    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."

     

     

    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."

    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."

    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 woman a lot of money."

    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."

  • EXPERIENCE

    "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

     

    CREATIVE DIRECTION / PUBLISHING:

     

    The Operating System

    Boog City

    Brooklyn Arts Press
    Exit Strata
    306090 Books

     

    www.theoperatingsystem.org

    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

    2015-current

     

    306090 Books

    (Architecture, Planning, and Design)

    Assistant Editor

    2003-2007

     

    Breaking the Silence

    (Literary, Art, Peace Studies)

    Cofounder / Editor

    1993-1997

     

    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)

     

     

    EDUCATION / PROGRAM and CURRICULAR DESIGN:
     

    Pratt InSTITUTE

    Bowery arts & Science

    City University of New York

    How To Human
    Salvadori Institute

    Friends Seminary

    Adjunct Professor, Double Operative Program: Language/Making; School of Architecture, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY

    starting Spring 2017

     

    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

    2004-2015

     

    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

    1996-2010

     

    Salvadori Institute

    [Architecture/ Design / STEM Education, NYC]

    Mentor/Charrette Facilitator

    2003-2008

     

    Swarthmore-Rutlege School

    [K-8 Day School, Swarthmore, PA]

    Foreign Language Program Lead, Instructor

    1998-2001

     

    Chester Boys Choir, Chester PA

    Assistant to Conductor / Music Instructor

     

    Brooklyn Botanic Garden Children's Garden

    Urban Agriculture Educator / Instructor

     

     

     

     

    The Trouble With Bartleby

    www.thetroublewithbartleby.net

    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.

     

    FREELANCE MANAGEMENT AND CONSULTING / UX 

    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]

  • SKILLS

    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

    Transformational Coaching

    Writing and Research

    Publishing and Editing

    Curation and Design

    Event Planning and Facilitation

    Project Management

  • EDUCATION

    “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

     

     

    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. 

     

     

    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

     

     

    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

  • Social Feed

    ROUND ROUND GET AROUND I get AROUND

  • CONTACT ME

    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.