Digital Arts Organisations: 3-Legged Dog and The Space

This Intervention comprises two 15-minute interviews with the directors of dedicated digital arts organisations in London and New York. Kevin Cunningham is Executive Artistic Director of 3LD in New York (USA), and Fiona Morris is Chief Executive of The Space, based in Birmingham and London (UK). Both facilitate new practices in digital creativity and performance. Andy Lavender asks both about developments to digital culture, innovations in performance practice, and how their organisations are responding to shifts in artistic creation and digital production. Taken together, the interviews explore hacking, improvising and creative production across diverse scales and contexts; and how digital technologies continue to transform our engagements with shared spaces, stories and experiences.

This intervention expands on the special issue’s themes of ‘deployment’, ‘engagement’ and ‘trace’. Cunningham and Morris reflect on ways in which their organisations adapt and exploit digital platforms and processes; how artists develop work in this context and involve wider pools of participants and audiences; and how the lasting presence and accessibility of online performance helps shape the work that is made.

For a discussion of Longitude, co-commissioned by The Space and LIFT (London International Festival of Theatre) 2014 and presented by elastic theatre, see Andy Lavender, ‘The Internet, Theatre and Time: transmediating the theatron in the accompanying special issue of the print journal.

Kevin Cunningham, Executive Artistic Director, 3-Legged Dog Media + Theater Group and 3LD Art & Technology Center

3LD Art & Technology Center, in Greenwich Street, Lower Manhattan, New York, is operated by the production company 3-Legged Dog Media + Theater Group. Founded in 1994, the company opened the 3LD Center in 2006, following the destruction of its previous base on West Broadway during the attacks of 9/11. As noted on its website, ‘3-Legged Dog is a community-oriented and artist-run production development studio for emerging and established artists and organizations that create large-scale experimental artworks of all kinds.’ 3LD’s founder Kevin Cunningham is an artist, producer and entrepreneur focusing on large-scale works and artistic enablement and innovation. www.3ldnyc.org

(Interviewed by Andy Lavender, 16 November 2016, New York)

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Fiona Morris, Chief Executive and Creative Director, The Space

Fiona MorrisLaunched on 29 April 2014, The Space was founded by Arts Council England and the BBC. As noted on its website, ‘The Space brings arts organisations, artists and technology together to make great art and reach new audiences. We do this by commissioning projects, building digital skills, and helping organisations and venues reach more people using digital media.’ The Space is based in Birmingham and has an office in London. Fiona Morris joined as chief executive and creative director in January 2016 from Leopard Films, where she was head of arts and history. www.thespace.org

(Interviewed by Andy Lavender, 20 March 2017, London)

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Andy Lavender is Professor of Theatre & Performance and Head of the School of Theatre & Performance Studies and Cultural & Media Policy Studies at the University of Warwick, UK. He is the author of Performance in the Twenty-First Century: Theatres of Engagement (Routledge, 2016) and co-editor of the special issue of Contemporary Theatre Review (‘Encountering the Digital in Performance’) of which this Intervention is part.

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