Grand Theft Avatar – As a Third Space

The Third Space has an ability to collapse space and time through a “fragmented and augmented perception of reality”, according to Randall Packer.

We are connected to each other within this space, despite factors of reality that may hinder this connection. An example of such a network is Grand Theft Avatar — a live interactive performance art by Second Front.

In this piece, the participants of Second Front take up pseudo identities and deploy to rob a bank to free the virtual currency of “Linden Dollars”.

The third space represents the fusion of the physical (first space) and the remote (second space) into a third space that can be inhabited by remote users simultaneously or asynchronously.

Randall Packer

Grand Theft Avatar deploys a simultaneous use of the third space, collapsing the notions of reality through allowing such a scene to take place virtually/in a metaphysical space while the subjects are controlled live by actual beings.

It showcases how participants would interact with other participants in real life, however these behaviours are only actualised in a virtual space. This phenomenon rids the scenario of cause and consequence, creating a hole in this staged reality.

The third space is perhaps akin to the fourth dimension, a hyperspace where spatial trajectories have no boundaries, where temporal relations are amorphous, where wormholes reveal pathways that are instantaneous and geographically dispersed.

Randall Packer

The nature of Grand Theft Auto is also said to allow it’s players to experience thrill through reckless behaviours that harbour serious consequences in real life.

It could then be said that in this third space, actual beings can experience a different and impossible version of reality through this media. This quality brings a certain superior level of flexibility to the third space.

From Proprietary to Open Source: Our Expanded Studio Space

The Open Source model is one that gives everybody the right to be a content creator.

Before the advent of Open Source, the Proprietary media had limited our practice to our a selective pool of message senders, particularly those who were practiced media. Open Source gave anyone who had access to this system an opportunity to publish their messages through this media.

The concept of the open source studio finds its greatest potential in the collaborative practices among peer groups that share goals, methods, ideologies, and aspirations. When artists and other creative practitioners aggregate their work (do it with others), it Fig5 Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, Hole-In-Space: A Public Communications Sculpture, 1980. (Image courtesy of IEEE Potentials November/December 2015 n 37 constitutes a form of cultural production that is collective in nature, whether it be a work of art, creative dialogue, or social interaction with the public. The Internet and social media have catalyzed this capability by providing multiple distribution channels for discourse and shared production.

– Packer R, Open Source Studio

Open source also means that users can interact with sources, therefore making it a space for DIWO (Do It With Others), which is a movement that encourages a collaborative practice.

Another difference between the proprietary and open source model is it’s directional ability as a means of communication. Proprietary is a unilateral communication model, whereby open source’s bilateral ability can allow for  a review of the message. In a sense, the source can be influenced in real time by multiple users, providing it with a different value.

…fast, efficient, and dependable communication, guided by protocols both social and digital (a process Benkler calls “integration”, can generate brilliant and powerful tools and expressions

Vaidhyanathan S, Open Source as Culture-Culture as Open Source

This model also changed the market by providing non-commercial, non-copyrighted materials to the public, putting a question mark in people’s heads. This efficient means of communication sped up the development of many industries as the pool of accessible information had greatly increased, and the speed at which such knowledge could me acquired had also improved a fair bit.

This Urban Gymnasium is an installation that invites it’s audience to use household materials in actual gym culture. The art is not just in the physical setup but is also defined by the audience’s performance.

As artists, we are also able to leverage on this system by allowing our audiences to interact with or even influence the outcome of our works. This act of DIWO is phenomenal because it allows our audiences to share the experience of art making with us.