The concept of the Third Space Network has emerged from the Art of the Networked Practice | Online Symposium 2015 and NetArtizens Project, organized by Randall Packer and Furtherfield’s Marc Garrett and Ruth Catlow at the School of Art, Design and Media of Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore. The symposium was conceived as a platform for creative dialogue to explore and debate the role of the network in our individual and collective practice as artists, scholars, educators, and citizens of the Internet. The project was sparked through our ongoing exploration of live, transglobal communications as a catalyst for collective art and discourse: social engagement central to the Furtherfield ethos.

@Home with Furtherfield, Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett interviewing Juregen Trautwein broadcast live via Web-conferencing

The NetArtizens Project was first conducted as a social experiment across 3 network channels: the NetBehaviours Mailing List, Twitter @NetArtizens, and the open database repository for media art. Over 200 artists participated in the project, a peer collaboration involving exchanges of wordplay, critical discourse, collective art, and a group organized showcase of net art submitted by the artists, NetArtizens Open Online Exhibition: uncurated and unfiltered.

The Art of the Networked Practice | Online Symposium 2015  brought open, global access to an academic event: Web-conferenced live and free of charge to attendees from over 40 countries around the world. Speakers and audiences collectively participated in keynotes and online panel discussions exploring topics that included: online arts education, collective research, and networked performance art. Performance artist Helen Varley Jamieson directed and performed a new cyberformance theater work with NTU students from her studio in Germany, while Furtherfield co-directors Ruth Catlow and Marc Garrett conducted online interviews with artists in Europe and the US from their home East of London on the Thames Estuary.

It was in the spirit of this radical, distributed openness of multiple channels of communication, real-time discourse, distributed networks, and exhibition opportunity from all corners of the globe that has given rise to the Third Space Network. In the age of broadband communications: locality, distance, and travel funds should no longer be an inhibitor for active participation in the new media arts.