Ryan + Trevor Oakes’ “The Periphery of Perception” exhibition at EMPAC

Ryan + Trevor Oakes’ “The Periphery of Perception” exhibition at EMPAC

EMPAC—Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center

March 14, 2012
Ryan + Trevor Oakes’ “The Periphery of Perception” exhibition at EMPAC


EMPAC (Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
110 8th Street
Troy, NY, USA 12180



A newly commissioned drawing and exhibition of work that probes the nature of visual perception 


EMPAC is pleased to announce The Periphery of Perception, an exhibition of work by Ryan and Trevor Oakes.


Identical twins Ryan and Trevor Oakes engage in probing studies into the nature of visual perception through material investigations, discovering methods that constitute key advancements in the representation of visual reality. This winter they will be in residence at EMPAC, creating a commissioned drawing of EMPAC’s Concert Hall. This commission constitutes a paradigm shift in the Oakes’ drawing process. Marking the first time they re-envision the structure of their canvases to encompass the full 240-degree field of human sight, the drawing will also account for the experience of binocular vision. The commission for EMPAC will be shown as part of an exhibition looking at the development of the Oakes’ work over the past 10 years, opening on February 21 and closing on May 31, 2012.


In conjunction with the exhibition, there will be a panel discussion on Wednesday, April 18 at 6 PM between Ryan and Trevor Oakes, writer Damien James, and photographer Michael Benson on optics, the nature of light, and the rendering of visual reality.


The work of Ryan and Trevor Oakes is held in the permanent collections of The Field Museum and the Spertus Museum in Chicago, and the New York Public Library. Their public art projects include a large-scale outdoor sculpture that debuted in Chicago’s Millennium Park in the summer of 2009, and is now installed at O’Hare International Airport. They have exhibited and lectured about their artwork across the US and abroad, most recently working with the Palazzo Strozzi Museum in Florence, and exhibiting at CUE Art Foundation in New York City.


In the fall of 2011, they completed a drawing of the Getty Center in Los Angeles. In the fall of 2012, they’ll return to Florence to re-envision an artwork of Brunelleschi, creator of the first perspective experiment on record, demonstrated around 1425.


+ Three videos shot while in residence at EMPAC: #1, #2, #3


This exhibition is free and open to the public Monday–Saturday from 12–6 PM.


Additional exhibition information may be found on the EMPAC website: empac.rpi.edu.


The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), founded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is an international hub for art, performance, science, and technology—offering adventurous interdisciplinary public events, support for artists and scholars engaged in creative research, and the resources of a state-of-the art facility for digital media production, research, and performance situated on a college campus. 


EMPAC 2011–2012 presentations, residencies, research, and commissions are supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Science Foundation, the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts (with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust), and the New York State Council for the Arts. Special thanks to the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts for support of artist commissions.


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March 14, 2012

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