a pair of speakers facing a glass curtain wall in the empac building


Hugo Esquinca

November 3–18, 2023
Tue–Sat 5:15–6:15PM

November 18, 2023, 6–7PM

If sound is a force, what is its edge? EMPAC’s four main performance venues—its concert hall, theater, and two studios—are designed as isolated acoustic environments that are structurally separated from each other as well as from the façades of the building. How much sonic energy can they contain? 

CONDICIÓN_1023 was conceived in response to EMPAC’s material, spatial, and conceptual scaffolding. Hugo Esquinca upends the acoustic divisions between the discrete sound chambers and EMPAC’s negative spaces—transitional areas such as lobbies, stairwells, hallways, atriums. In activating these in-between areas, the artist sonically excites a spatial field that lies inside the building but that normally remains outside its primary centers of sound amplification. He saturates the entire building with sound until the exterior layer turns into its own sonic architecture. 

Esquinca works with sound sources that originate from the concert hall, theater, the public address system, and an array of subwoofers. Two vinyl elements mark a diagonal axis on the surface of the building. Through interventions that originate from the unique acoustic profile of each sound source, the artist blurs and merges their sonic emissions, resulting in the dislocation of both the audio events themselves and the experience of listening. One loses track of the respective points of amplification until the building becomes dense with resonance.

Extrude [Part A]

An installation which runs every night of the exhibition after the building closes. For Extrude, the sounds play for no one. The excessive energy that is unleashed inside and that should not be experienced directly manifests a vibrational presence that rests on the edges of audibility. 

Irrupt [Part B], Saturday, November 18, 6–7PM

A performance which takes place when the exhibition ends but to which the audience is invited. The building’s glass skin pulsates inward, making the presentation spaces cites of extreme reverberation that resist audience access.

Main Image: Hugo Esquinca, CONDICIÓN_1023, 2023. Pictured in Shifting Center, EMPAC / Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer, Troy, NY, 2023 (installation view). Courtesy the Artist. Photo: Michael Valiquette/EMPAC.

Dates + Tickets

CONDICIÓN_1023: Extrude [Part A]
Hugo Esquinca
Friday 3
November 2023
------------ thru ------------
Saturday 18
November 2023

Extrude [Part A] should be experienced from the building exterior and runs Tue–Sat from 5:15PM–6:15PM throughout the run of the exhibition.

CONDICIÓN_1023: Irrupt [Part B]
Hugo Esquinca
Saturday 18
6:00 PM
November 2023

Irrupt [Part B] is a performance that takes place to mark the end of Shifting Center and takes place from 6–7PM. RSVP requested. 

Refreshments will be available.

Presented By

EMPAC Fall 2023