The Art of the Networked Practice

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This post is in advance of the Art of the Networked Practice | Online Symposium, please visit the Website to register online.

We are only at the beginning stages of the advancement of the global network, and yet the possibilities are staggering. One can only imagine the participatory role we will each grab hold of in the unfolding 21st century as we achieve greater means of expression to state our position in the world of affairs, to distribute our artistic output, to enter into creative dialogue.

So what do we mean by the art of the networked practice? This means, essentially, the amplification of the individual voice through an evolving collective network of ideas and production. The art of the networked practice entails advanced sculpting of the electronically networked social space for purposes of conversation, research, learning, writing, and sharing.

There is no doubt the art of the networked practice is its own unique discipline, in which the individual who practices this discipline integrates the potentialities of networked relations into their work + research + social engagement. Much has been written about the “art of the social practice,” but with the amplification of our ideas + output through digital networks, the social practice takes on new, heightened possibilities: no longer tethered to local or grounded geographies, but rather, achieving extended reach that fuses the local + remote + dispersed as an activated “third space.”

The third space sits at the center of the art of the networked practice, a concept that combines physical geography, the virtual + representational, with the network of social relations. The sum of the third space is far greater than its parts, for it is open + expansive + infinite in its “thirdness.”  The art of the networked practice is thus a mastery of the third space as a place for imagining, staging, and producing one’s work and ideas. The third space is further empowered by the functionality of the database, which engages collaborative processes and shared taxonomies. When groups of individuals use the database to coalesce around taxonomies (shared ideas), their function becomes social taxonomies, resulting in forms referred to as “collective narrative.” The collective narrative is one of the primary manifestations of the art of the networked practice.

The new social narrative forms are becoming increasingly embedded into our personal + professional lives. How we advance these techniques through the art of the networked practice for individual and collective creative use is the great unfolding miracle of our time.

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