The Operating System

Announcing: The AWESOME CREATOR Series

Who is an awesome creator?
Why… YOU are!
It’s still Poetry Month, and we at Exit Strata have been largely focused on that discipline, with our invitational 30/30/30 Inspiration, Community, Tradition posts.
However, we want to stress that we love and are inspired by *all* creative disciplines — in fact, that this big love is why we are here.  The primary intention behind using our virtual home as a portal for not only for content but for people is to bring together creators from all mediums: a reminder that we are more alike than we are different. 
We can all identify heady periods (is it safe to say, “like this one” yet?) that we look to as benchmarks of creative foment, when discipline fell away in the spirit of pure creative inquiry, with labels spurned in the service of the work, together. We tell and listen, rapt, to tales of these dreamy times.
2010’s terrific film, Blank City, spins the story any native or adoptive New York creative loves (sometimes, loves the most):

that “cultural portrait of Manhattan in the days before Reagan, big money, and gentrification forever altered the fabric of the city”

which is to say, a document of the 1960’s-80’s downtown NYC landscape, here focusing on film, but in so doing writing “a love story” to the freedom with which these now-luminaries, then scrappy-believers seamlessly slipped between one medium to the next, allowing themselves to simply revel in the being and doing of ART in any form.

What I couldn’t agree with more, and what I loved about the film, was that it wasn’t sentimental — it wasn’t that cynical, largely false, fairy tale about the “good old days,” and it didn’t suggest that spirit is, in any way, lost. In fact, the directors stress that

“in this new age of digital democracy, the maverick spirit of the New York Underground has risen again in emerging creative communities worldwide. The Do-It-Yourself ethos, audacious storytelling, and sense of urgency guiding [this work] are more relevant and inspiring than ever.”

Not only could we not agree more — this is why we get up in the morning. This “maverick spirit” is back, in the air. In social revolution, in political unrest, in creative ventures, and in the upending of the institutions that have muted and disinvested the communities that breed collective inspiration and generosity.

“Digital democracy” is right! We understand that tech can feel “cold” but wish to rid ourselves of this stultifying, too-small notion. The internet is a human thing, a rewiring of our connections across illusory boundaries. The work we do here reduces redundancies and allows us to share and learn and create value in, well, u-topia [no-place] — something we can then take to the ground and use in real life.

Here on the virtual extension of our “IRL” community, we wish to draw value to you by lavishing attention, praise, and legitimation of your process. We think that being a creative person is the most “real” job that you can have. We know that to be truly passionate in whatever medium means to lose sleep and work without pay 24 hrs a day at a job that has no “hours” – it has ALL hours. And we truly believe that by harnessing the mutual energies of our exponential network, here in the utopic web, that we can usher in a new period of satisfaction, and even “success.”

What you see below is an invitation for submission and nomination, but one that requires curation, tact, and rigorous examination of self and others. The answer to Who is an AWESOME CREATOR? is, in fact, YOU… but someone may not in deed be operating at the level one could be to move their work and the work of others forward.

AWESOME CREATORS may not, that means, be known at all. In fact, many eschew the spotlight in the interest of solace and intellectual freedom — whereas many who become “stars” may not hold themselves to a rigorous practice.

There are no rules for nomination, but what we’re looking for is demonstration of commitment to the work, together — work that challenges, explores, and commits to growth. Work that will inspire us to be better, work harder, and play together.



Dear Awesome Creator –
Thank you.
Thank you for doing what you do and being who you are. We think that thing and that person is something and someone we are lucky to know and know about. And we want to share your gifts and offerings with our community of other awesome creators.
You are already a friend of Exit Strata but we want to make it official – by inviting you to be a founding member of our online cooperative.
While many of you may already know about our print publication, you may not be aware that it is envisioned as merely a fraction of our work – which is primarily that of a network, a community of artists of all mediums (that is, including the visual, textual, and performing arts, as well as any that defy categorization).
What eXsT_net [Exit Strata Network] offers is membership within a community of forward thinking, creative, driven individuals and organizations who are changing the creative landscape by their dedication to practice – and to each other. We seek to accelerate the New Way, by creating a place where creativity, too, thrives in and strives for Open Source: leaving behind the Old Way, releasing ourselves from the unhealthy environment of competition and distrust that pervades and poisons our industries.
We are here for mutual appreciation and promotion, with the full and intentional understanding that Network is the new power structure: it is via our Network, and our adjacent, connected Networks already at play on both the virtual/global and local/physical level that we will actualize a new type of life for ourselves, one that places value where we place value. In the world of Exit Strata, creative energy, commitment, and engagement are currency. And you, my friend, are rich beyond measure.
We are in the process of populating the Exit Strata site with an introduction to some of our global community members via dedicated space to each of you and your work within the website – there will be a more formalized profile set up at some point in future, but for now we invite you to be one of this premier few.
What that means we need from you is this:
1) A quick, absurdist bio – one or two lines – that looks something like this:
D.A. Wright is a fictionist / professor of nonsense from Brooklyn, NY, and should not be trusted with industrial machinery.
Jonathan Rose is an illustrator from Tulsa, OK, who wonders what is the most complex thing, enjoys days of intrepid travel, and tries not to stare at the Sun too much.
or (lets say, if you want to add links to your content online)
Lynne DeSilva-Johnson prefers to be described in the universal language we’ve only begun to (re-)learn. In lay English she can be called Poet, Educator, Philosopher, Alchemist, Friend, Artist, Writer, Healer, Conduit, Rogue, Free Spirit, Instigator and occasionally Curmudgeon. Her students think she is Eccentric, and she likes that very much indeed.She can be found at The Trouble with Bartleby, via @onlywhatican, and lurking in the cobwebbed corners of the mental universe.
No chest thumping, please. Assume normative models of “important” have gone out the proverbial window. Your work should speak for itself.
Please answer the above questions in whatever way you feel best describes you and your work/vision. (intentionally vague)
3) We also need links, media content, jpegs, text, and anything else of use. If your medium is music please send us mp3’s for our web radio player.
We will also be keeping an interactive calendar – keep us informed on your events!
Questions? Ask us anything.
Lynne DeSilva-Johnson, Poetry, Web and Ephemera
for The Editors of eXiT sTraTa

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