AE Interviews Kevin Cunningham
April 24, 2006
3-Legged Dog, a new space for experimental performance, is about to celebrate its opening in downtown Manhattan in New York City. Kevin Cunningham, Executive Artistic Director, Founder, Executive, Fundraiser, Artistic Director, Lead Artist, and Janitor, has provided the vision and unshakable will that was needed to bring the project to its conclusion. We asked him about it.
AE What is your concept for the space?
KC 3LD Art & Technology Center is a space structured to accommodate the creation of large scale experimental art work of all kinds with an emphasis on the use and creation of new technologies, including business models for the creation and survival of the experimental arts, and on the propagation of the New York Experimental tradition to the next generation.
Cunningham at 3-Legged Dog
AE How do you intend to keep it going? Mixing for-profit with non-profit ventures?
KC We don't really mix for-profit and non-profit ventures. The for-profit activities we engage in spring from and support the artistic experiments that are being done here. These for-profit ventures range from limited rental of our space to related commercial ventures to creating new software for the arts (current focus on real time multiplexing software).
AE How did the name come about?
KC The first venue I ever created was called Commerce Street Artists Warehouse in Houston Texas. It was a 27,000 square foot former bomb Êfactory on the outskirts of Downtown Houston. The place came with a young pit bull named Sid. Sid chased cars. Rather than chasing behind, Sid would try to get near the front tire and bite it. He lost his left front leg. Shortly after getting out of the animal hospital, still in a cast, Sid jumped off the loading dock and went after another front tire. Now the leg was no longer in the way so he was actually able to get a grip on the sidewall. Fortunately the street was heavily rutted and the cars were moving slowly. For several yards, Sid held on, flopping alongside as the wheel turned. He became a symbol for the artists at CSAW of what it takes to be an artist: persistence of vision in the face of adversity.
AE What is the story of 3-Legged Dog? How did it come about?
KC I founded 3-Legged Dog with Mike Taylor and Jill Szuchmacher in 1996 when Richard Foremen invited us to do one of my works at the Ontological Hysteric Theater. That production, House of Bugs, was very successful artistically and pulled together a group of artist/technicians that was quite promising. We wanted to keep working together so we formed a company. Some of those performers and designers still work with us. You might find the sound design interesting, Bob Beilecki came in with his phase variant speaker array and hooked us up with John Driscoll's robotic spinning speakers. Also involved in the production were founders of Radio Hole, Eric Dyer and Scott Gillette.