THE RIDE's Michael Counts Joins 3-Legged Dog as Creative Director for 3LD Special Projects Group
Counts will work in an executive creative capacity on special commissioned projects, overseeing design and direction of large-scale events and installation works, and will act as a director and designer for select 3-Legged Dog artistic productions. In addition, he will contribute to the company's on-going strategic planning effort to adapt to the difficult funding and resource climate for the Arts in New York. With Kevin Cunningham, he will focus on large-scale event and installation design (both wholly original and commissioned) and on expanding 3-Legged Dog's international network, presence, collaborations and curatorial practice.Cunningham said, "When I first built 3LD Art & Technology Center and created our resource and production model I was thinking of Michael Counts and artists like him whose talent and ambitious standards for cutting edge works require time, space and proper resources to be fully realized. The scope of his vision, his interdisciplinary approach, creativity, knowledge, entrepreneurial spirit and experience make him a perfect fit for 3-Legged Dog as we chart a new path to a sustainable not for profit production model for large-scale ambitious new work. Michael will play a key leadership role as the company builds this new balanced revenue model. He will also contribute directly to our artistic programming and help us continue to drive toward the highest quality standards for our productions." Regarding his joining the 3LD team, Counts said, "I have always had immense respect and admiration for Kevin and his work and am thrilled to be joining the 3LD team. The scale and style of projects that they have done and the types of partners and commissioners that they have worked with with is a perfect fit for the sort of work that I am most drawn to and effective at." Michael Counts is a pioneer in the intersection of immersive performance, avant-garde theater, and technology. His 2013 staging of Moses in Egypt for the New York City Opera at City Center was recently named one of the 10 best classical performances of 2013 by the New York Times and Philharmonic 360 the production he designed and directed for the New York Philharmonic at the Park Avenue Armory was called one of the top 20 Cultural Events of 2012 by the New York Times. As founder of the groundbreaking GAle GAtes et al, Counts and GAle GAtes were the creative catalysts of the birth of DUMBO as a major arts and culture center in Brooklyn. His career spans avant-garde theater (productions like So Long Ago I Can't Remember - A Divine Comedy and The Field of Mars with GAle GAtes to the immersive experience of the long-running The Ride: New York), opera (NYC Opera, NY Philharmonic at the Park Avenue Armory, Lincoln Center), as well as creating interactive projects with Blue Man Group (the Mobkastr mobile app for Blue Man's How to be a Mega-Star arena tour; and BILL: The World's First Live and Interactive Billboard in NY and Las Vegas), augmented reality games like Icuh8ing (launched with Now Play Magazine), Yellow Arrow, the mobile phone-based Massively Authored Public Art Project as well as the Yellow Arrow Installation at Art Basel Miami (sponsored by Piaget). In addition to his work with 3-Legged Dog, his upcoming projects include Paradiso, a new adaptation of Dante's Divine Comedy and August Moon Drive-In, an immersive entertainment concept that re-creates a country drive-in movie theater as a massive indoor installation. 3LD Special Projects Group is a program of 3-Legged Dog, Inc focusing on large multi-media design development, creation and consultation. The program capitalizes on 3-Legged Dog's areas of specialization creating integrated cross platform media design, large scale multi-media event design and management and the creation of multi-media large scale artworks including immersive environments, interactive media design, 3D imaging and film making and large-scale holographic imagery. The program is aimed at creating a mission driven balanced revenue model for the arts in response to the on-going decline in philanthropic support for original contemporary performance and media art. 3LD Special Projects Group uses technologies and methods developed for 3LD's not-for-profit artistic endeavors (large-scale multimedia experimental Theater Productions and immersive interactive artworks). 3LD Special Projects Group develops custom design-and-build teams from their extensive international community of artists and technicians tailored to the creation of bespoke commissioned artworks for clients in all sectors from architectural and museum exhibit installations to large scale designs for film and entertainment industries. 3LD Special Projects Group grew out of the demand for these specialized works of art that were commissioned by various organizations. Past commissions include the Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Public Theater, Lady Gaga, National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Museum of Modern Art, Michael Kors, Bloomberg and Vice Magazine. Founded in 1994 by a group of artists at the Ontological-Hysteric Theater, 3-Legged Dog is at the vanguard of the experimental arts scene, creating live, immersive performance experiences for the digital world. With groundbreaking and innovative use of technology, 3-Legged Dog explores new narrative possibilities through large scale, immersive art projects that break down boundaries between live performance, film, visual art, and installations. Since its inception, 3-Legged Dog has performed and exhibited at the Kitchen, the Ontological, PS 122, La Mama, the Signature Theatre, the Venice Biennale, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Prague Quadrennial and at their home, 3LD Art and Technology Center at 80 Greenwich Street in Lower Manhattan. 3-Legged Dog is a one-of-a-kind organization providing a home for the development of large-scale, experimental, cross-disciplinary art works. Unlike any other organization in New York, 3-Legged Dog offers an average of 700 artists annually access to state-of-the-art equipment, technology, training, expert advise and access to cutting edge software and hardware developed specifically for artistic applications. Since opening their doors in 2006, they have continuously served artists from New York and beyond through production support and subsidized space for development. They also provide more than 50 artists annually with competitive living wage employment through work-for-hire contracts, thanks to a revenue-balanced business model. Projects developed at 3LD Art & Technology Center have toured the National Theater of Scotland, The Barbican, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Walker Arts Center, The Wexner Center for the Arts, The Japan Society, Glasgow's Arches, Lisbon Culturegest, the Chicago Dance Center, The Prague Quadrennial, The Venice Biennale, The CLICK Festival, Cultureyard Denmark, The New York Film Festival, The Sundance Film Festival and the American Film Institute Film Festival. 3-Legged Dog productions have won multiple awards, including Gothamist Best Musical (2007), American Theater Wing Hewes Design Award (2007), Village Voice Best Stage Technology (2008,) The Israel Prize (2011), and a Drama Desk Nomination in (2011). Our work appeared in the 2004 and 2008 Venice Biennale Architecture Exhibit. In the Prague Quadrennial American Pavilion, two works by 3-Legged Dog were featured in 2011 selected by USITT. They were awarded two Rockefeller Foundation Cultural Innovation Fund Awards in 2008 and 2010.