ABOLITION|ARCHIVE|ACCESS :: Announcing the 2021 OS / LL Project Cohort
Traditionally, The Operating System has announced our forthcoming cohort year in March or April, but as we all know, 2020 has turned schedules on their heads, and in many ways for the better. This year has demanded of us both personally and institutionally to draw lines in the sand for what matters to us, and what we’re willing to fight for, in our lives, our communities, and in the world. For the OS, this has meant asking ourselves what needed to change about the ways we’ve been working. Which meant that we’ve spent the year focusing on solidarity and mutual aid efforts online and off, as well as considering what systemic shifts would allow us to operate more fully in support of our mission of archive-and-access facing projects and resources, as well as towards Liminal Lab, our growing platform for radical, Open Access, sliding scale, peer-to-peer learning. With Liminal Lab, and with our Open Access Library, we have been more able to lean into our intentions to make resources and sustainable creative practice available for as many people as possible, and to begin sketching out extra-institutional sources of long-term income for our increasingly precarious community members, all the while modelling horizontal, virtual, experimental pedagogical spaces open to all.
In looking ahead at 2021, I knew it was important to move away from scaling up as an experimental objective: while we’ve pushed the envelope with some cohort years up in the 30+ range, with the intention of demonstrating the capacity of our agile infrastructure, the point is to have that begin to happen along that infrastructure in a truly distributed way. Soon, you’ll find the full toolkit of templates and guidelines for design thinking and internal operations that we use here at the OS, open to all, and hopefully scale, again, will become important in a new way, illustrating the power of distributed, autonomous commons operation, but for the meantime, we’re in, well, a bit of a liminal state. In 2022 and beyond, members will come on for a fellowship year, with projects in the works. You’ll also see the publication, starting soon and ongoing through 2020, of work-books and pamphlets from Liminal Lab facilitators, available (as all our projects) both in print form and in our growing Open Access Library.