From left, Videofreex David Cort, Bart Friedman and Parry Teasdale filmed kids' programs and daily goings-on in 1973 at their Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, N.Y.
From left, Videofreex David Cort, Bart Friedman and Parry Teasdale filmed kids’ programs and daily goings-on in 1973 at their Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, N.Y., courtesy of Skip Blumberg and the Videofreex

The concept of the Third Space Network draws from an extensive history of artists producing their own broadcast content and public media, which has precedence in the alternative press, pirate radio, public access television, and net art.

In the 1970s, Korean video art pioneer Nam June Paik predicted the future of the “information superhighway” by proclaiming that some day every artist would have their own television channel. Alongside a generation of emerging media artists, Paik advanced the artistic use of video, combined with viewer participation, as an expanded vision for the transformative power of media art across the globe.

During the 1960s, 70s and 80s, media and video collectives emerged, including Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, the San Francisco Tape Music CenterVideofreex, TVTV, Raindance (Radical Software), Paper Tiger TV, Ant Farm, T.R. Uthco, Optic Nerve, Video Free America, the Electronic Café, and Deep Dish TV, claiming the emerging electronic media as their medium.

Coinciding with the availability of affordable media equipment and video cameras these collectives mobilized people to make their own media, rather than being passive consumers of centrally constructed television and broadcast programming. They attempted to democratize the media by facilitating people-to-people communication, altering the themes and aesthetics of commercial media: activating independent production around a proliferation of social and politics issues and new aesthetics expressed by a range of marginalized communities.

In 1984 at the stroke of midnight, Good Morning, Mr. Orwell, organized by Nam June Paik, took place as a simultaneous broadcast from New York, Paris and San Francisco in response to George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984. The work demonstrated how new media collaboration could contradict the Orwellian future, rather, empowering artists and audiences in an age of expanding communications technologies, to take control of electronic media for artistic purposes. Paik brought together John Cage, Laurie Anderson, Merce Cunningham, Joseph Beuys, and Allen Ginsberg, among others in a utopic realization of Marshall McLuhan’s concept of the “global village,” in which a community of artists participating across geographical distances could transform the broadcast medium into a collective space for live music, poetry, and performance.

Beginning in the mid 1990s, surging interest in net art advanced broadcasting to embrace new Internet streaming possibilities, to name a few: Jennifer Ringler’s seven-year self-surveillance project Jennicam (1996-2003); the online radio streaming project Radioqualia by Honor Harger and Adam Hyde (1998); Helen Varley Jamieson’s Cyberformance events and symposia beginning in 1999; the Walker Art Center’s translocal 24/7 channel How Latitude Becomes Forms: Art in a Global Age organized by curator Steve Dietz (2003); Webcam performance art by Annie Abrahams beginning in 2007; Roger Mills Ethernet Orchestra real-time telematic musical performance (2010);Randall Packer’s performance and media talk project, The Post Reality Show [v] (2011); and the Cyposium cyberformance symposium organized by Abrahams and Jamieson, et al, one of the most ambitious collaborative efforts to document the current state of Internet performance art as an experimental artistic medium.

It is this ongoing history and evolution of networked art that has inspired The Third Space Network to participate in the next generation of live broadcasting in the era of social media and mobile smart phone technology: re-imagined for today’s Internet television and its audiences.