A message from the Operating System team regarding COVID-19
Dear friends and potential collaborators:
Please note that we have temporarily suspended print submissions and operations until there is more clarity around the implications and outcomes of the current health crisis. There is no way to know when it will make sense for us to be physically producing objects and relying on a human supply chain and/or requiring labor of our volunteers in the way that has been necessary in the past for our operations to run smoothly.
We are committed to the health and safety of all our community members, and are as always determined to be at the frontlines of dialogue, resource building and sharing for mutual aid and solidarity within this network and beyond, and so our efforts are focused there for now.
We believe deeply in the power of creativity of all forms as a necessary and vital antidote to panic and a tool for change, but at the moment it is not yet clear how to best channel the strategic energies around which the OS was built, vis-a-vis the actual production and distribution of print volumes, for the time being and perhaps in the very different landscape that may emerge at the end of this time.
Thank you for your interest. Please stay safe, and follow the OS on social media for resources, tools, and other opportunities.
JOINING THE OPERATING SYSTEM COMMUNITY:
If you’re wondering if THE OS is the right home for your project, consider this: our previous and forthcoming authors and artists have ranged in age from 20 to 80. For many, this is their first publication.
We are interested in creative practitioners who are interested in supporting each other and the community — we care less about your pedigree and more about your energy. Where your work is concerned, most of all we care about that your voice is uniquely yours and that your work is aligned with our commitment to social justice and equity.
We understand the creative impulse as a political and social action, and publishing/documentation/archiving/dissemination as a tool in a larger fight to directly circumvent the top-down writing of history. Ideally, you are already engaged in your work in a way that understands this — or you’d like to be.
What this means is that when you submit a project for consideration by the Operating System, you should also know that the OS is not an independent, top-down organization built to serve creative practitioners, but rather a horizontal collective of creative practitioners making each other's projects possible through collaborative resource and labor distribution...which you should be prepared to be a part of supporting in some way.
When you submit a project, ask yourself if you're interested in becoming part of a community, and whether you're willing to consistently support this community's growth and existence by being an active member. This looks very different for many of us, but consider that our Founder / Creative Director teaches full time, is chronically ill, has a kid, their own creative practice, and no family support--almost all of us are coming from challenging, precarious situations. We can work around your conditions, but the point is that you want to and understand our mission and vision. If you're looking for a traditional, single stream service relationship with a publisher, this is not a good fit.
Some notes: we believe it is a privilege and a joy to enter into this process with you – and you will always retain rights to your material. However, we are committed to releasing the fear of a scarcity economy, and publish under a creative commons license that encourages educational and other non commercial sharing. We support the establishment of new protocol that work for the creative community, and support our growth – not those that stifle and teach fear, under the apparent flag of “protection.”
The OS reviews translation, hybrid texts, performance books, vispo, poetry, prose, creative nonfiction, plays, rogue-academic and other genre-nonconforming project manuscripts year round. We are a queer run, actively feminist, radical press committed to social justice, as well as to bringing to print projects that may struggle to find a niche elsewhere.
You should know that our intentions are primarily archive-driven: writing into the history and securing into the ontology the existence / persistence of avant-garde, experimental, radical voices and practices that might otherwise fade into invisibility / obscurity.
(Which is to say: if you're here with a straightforward book of fiction, we congratulate you on your accomplishment, but be aware that your work is the least likely to be considered.)
As part of our commitment to transparency, we provide detailed Author Resources outlining our standard project terms and the answers to many FAQ's on our website. If you're considering whether publishing with the OS is right for you, it's a great idea to read this over before submitting.
All of our print volumes to date are available here, directly via The Operating System.
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.
You will find here ongoing web series to which unsolicited submissions are accepted, but if you have an idea for cross-pollination or would like to have The OS host an ongoing new series in text or other media, please email us.
[RE:CON]VERSATIONS, as its name might suggests, seeks to create value in doing “recon” in conversation form around the production of otherwise ephemeral creative production. How can we, in our role as auto-archivist-ontologist-documentarians, leave a trail for ourselves and for others that exceeds and extends the value of a performance, exhibit, lecture, reading, or other event?
This is a space for solo or collaborative interview, conversation, annotation, reflection, or other expository exploration of the research, development, production, (etc) aspects of the creative process. It is our belief that to “open source” conversations of this type is to create a rich resource of histories within which we may locate our own practice / intentions / ideas and plans, get inspired and gain insights into our craft and community.