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

Courtesy EMPAC.

August 27, 2018
Four commissions mark the anniversary, with premieres from Moved by the Motion (Wu Tsang, boychild, and Co.), Maria Hassabi, Yara Travieso, Isabelle Pauwels, and more
October 11–13, 2018
EMPAC—Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center
110 8th Street
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, New York 12180
United States
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 11am–5pm

T +1 518 276 3921
Instagram / Facebook / #empac10years

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute celebrates 10YEARS with an interdisciplinary program of time-based visual art, dance, theater, and music.

Ten events span three days with Formosa Quartet, Trajal Harrell, Maria Hassabi, Moved by the Motion (Wu Tsang, boychild, Patrick Belaga, Josh Johnson, and Asma Maroof), Olga Neuwirth and International Contemporary Ensemble, Isabelle Pauwels, and Yara Travieso, alongside research from Rensselaer’s Cognitive and Immersive Systems Laboratory and EMPAC’s Wave Field Synthesis spatial audio array.

Wu Tsang and boychild convene their iterative performance ensemble Moved by the Motion for the premiere of One Image is a Lie, the Other Unavailable, featuring collaborators Josh Johnson, Asma Maroof and Patrick Belaga. Moving fluidly between voice, movement, image, and music, the ensemble explores different modes of storytelling through an improvisational structure.

Maria Hassabi premieres her moving-image installation SLOW ME DOWN, co-produced by EMPAC and the Point Center for Contemporary Arts, Nicosia, featuring material from Hassabi’s live installation, STAGING (2017). Blending collage and post-production effects, SLOW ME DOWN builds a hyper-real frame that augments this footage and participates in the construction of what Hassabi calls a “performative surreality.”

Yara Travieso’s new expansive theatrical performance transforms the voluminous concert hall into a living, breathing female form. Following its heroine through a black hole, the production will feature a new video directed and produced by Travieso with live sound composed by Sam Crawford.

Isabelle Pauwels will premiere If It Bleeds. Filmed at EMPAC and based on real events in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, the moving image work uses the pageantry of sports entertainment to explore the grotesque and sublime spectacle that is everyday survival.

Trajal Harrell’s MOMA-commissioned dance trio In the Mood for Frankie draws on the figurative histories of the muse. The performance, which features a runway style stage installed in EMPAC’s lobby, is inspired by Harrell’s own muses including butoh co-founder Tatsumi Hijikata, filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, fashion designer Rei Kawakubo, and dancers Thibault Lac and Ondrej Vidlar, who perform the work with Harrell.

Composer Olga Neuwirth’s Lost Highway Suite—derived from her opera inspired by the David Lynch film—will be performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble, utilizing EMPAC’s 64-speaker Ambisonic dome to spatialize the sound.

EMPAC’s groundbreaking Wave Field Synthesis arrays will be on display in an interactive installation open throughout the 10YEARS event, and EMPAC director Johannes Goebel will give a talk considering the philosophy and politics of documenting time-based arts in the age of digital archives, corporate cloud computing, hardware obsolescence, and “bit rot.”

10YEARS will be inaugurated on October 11 by the Formosa Quartet. The string quartet will lead the audience through the building’s two studios, theater, and concert hall, performing works selected to highlight the relationship of audience, music, musicians and the acoustics of each venue.

10YEARS is organized by EMPAC’s director Johannes Goebel with Victoria Brooks, curator of time-based visual art, Ashley Ferro-Murray, curator of theater and dance, Argeo Ascani, former curator of music, and curatorial assistant Constanza Armes Cruz.

Designed by London-based Grimshaw Architects, EMPAC’s 220,000-square foot building opened in fall 2008 and includes many firsts in the fields of acoustics, performing arts infrastructure, and architectural engineering. EMPAC provides an environment that supports the realization of complex artworks and research projects at any stage, from inception to completion. The EMPAC artist-in-residence program runs year-round, developing new and commissioned projects, many of which receive their premiere here. This work focuses primarily on time-based visual art, music/sound, theater and dance, with one curator assigned to each respective discipline. The Cognitive and Immersive Systems Laboratory (CISL @ EMPAC), a joint initiative with IBM founded in 2015, uses these same spaces and technologies to research new human-computer interfaces.

For inquiries, contact Josh Potter at pottej2 [​at​] rpi.edu

EMPAC—Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center
August 27, 2018

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