Activating the Third Space

Defining, in this context, the Third Space as a participatory social construction that is situated on the network. As a networked realization of third space aggregation and socialization, there are new potentialities due to the collapse of geography, extended global reach, cultural exchange, and “other” possibilities of creative manifestations due to the otherworldly nature of transcending the limits of the physical world.

The idea of third space forms of thinking and socialization comes from social geographers such as Edward Soja as a term that disrupts, disorders and begins to reconstitute the conventional binary opposition between the real and the imagined, to fuse (objective) physical and (subjective) mental space. his results in a third space as shared, social space: collective space, a place of open possibilities, a place of new potential for going beyond the physical and the representational. This is why third space experience is so provocative. It is outside of time and space, not limited to rules and limits. It is spatial in terms of a sense of active play that takes place in a space without borders, like worm holes, instant trajectories that defy distance and geography. In the context of OSS, the third space essentially dissolves the constraints inherent in the physical seminar or studio space, opening up new opportunities for remote learning, collaboration, networked art, distributed dialogue, and cross-cultural interactions.

Some definitions of third space thinking:

  • used as a sociocultural term to designate communal space, as distinct from the home (first space) or work (second space)
  • the online medium can be thought of as another form of transformative social space: a way of describing the social dynamics and culture of networked space.
  • we can now redefine the first and second spaces as the physical (first space) and the virtual (second space). When we unite these two spaces into a blended hybrid, we find that the resulting space, inhabited by remote participants who are geographically dispersed, as constituting our new definition of the third space.
  • the experience of blurring real and virtual spatial dimensions (physical and digital) is heightened in the third space through distributed telepresence, when participants remotely engage with one another in a shared electronic space.

These “activations” involve the following:

  • large-scale global events that emphasize creative dialogue, performance, and extended networked bridging in the arts
  • the creation of open systems of exhibition space in which artists share their work, unfiltered and unmediated by artistic gatekeepers
  • creation of virtual seminar space with enhanced social dynamic and networked creative play possibilities
  • achieving a sense of collapse between local and remote spaces that bridges thinking, concept and idea in new ways to achieve unprecedented modes of verbal and artistic exchange & collaboration
  • This transcendence of the laws of the known world is what opens the door to the heightened, extra-sensory qualities of third space experience, altering our sense of identify, reducing inhibition, igniting self-expression
  • Staging the educational process in the third space is a powerful means to examine the complexities of our data-driven, technological, global information society.