On October 3, 2008, Rensselaer opened a bold new chapter in its legacy as the nation’s oldest technological research university. With the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center, the institute had not only designed and constructed the most technologically advanced performing arts center in the country, but had initialized a radical new program integrating the methods and mindset of art, science, and engineering, laying the foundation for a new paradigm in cross-disciplinary exploration and education.
EMPAC’s three curatorial positions are a curator of time-based visual art, a curator of theater/dance, and this position. Curators have an in-depth expertise in their specific discipline. At the same time collaboration within the team makes traditional disciplinary boundaries permeable. Genre-crossing projects and those that combine different media and multiple approaches are all part of the curatorial team’s practice. Discussions, exchanges and advice among EMPAC’s curators are a central part of EMPAC’s approach.
Artist Wu Tsang has been named a 2018 recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Working in residence at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute since 2016, the “Genius Grant” honoree will premiere a new collaborative performance work, Sudden Rise, at EMPAC 10YEARS on October 13.
At EMPAC, everything we create is “time-based.” From concerts to dance performances to film screenings and theater, the artworks this season are each a carefully considered play of sight, sound, and movement: experiences that only exist in the span of time given for you to take them in but might dwell within you for hours or days after they end.
EMPAC alum / Early Morning Opera's Lars Jans and former EMPAC curator of Time-Based Arts Kathleen Forde were featured after premiering Jan's latest commission art ArtBasel in Miami this year. Jans' commissions ABACUS (2010) and HOLOCENES (2014) were developed at EMPAC.
Iranian musician Mohammad Reza Mortazavi unable to perform at EMPAC due to visa-processing delays
The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute regrets to announce that the December 8 performance by Iranian hand-drummer Mohammad Reza Mortazavi has been cancelled due to visa-processing delays.
New York-based British artist Patricia L. Boyd will exhibit Operator (2017), a single-channel video, at New York University's 80wse Gallery between September 23 and November 11. The video was produced through a moving image commission from EMPAC / Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.
“Mixed reality.” This is a term that’s been gaining traction as new media technologies expand our human relationship to the digital world.
"On her third album for Hyperdub, Laurel Halo continues to resist classification and deflect interpretation by treating the human voice like a synthetic material to be molded and shattered."
Recorded at EMPAC in 2015, the full Pitchfork review of Laurel Halo's Dust, is available now.
"...Breaking up smooth surfaces and scuffing up perfection are some of Ms. Halo’s objectives in her own work. 'Laurel’s music is off-kilter,' said Argeo Ascani, the curator at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in upstate New York, where Ms. Halo took part in a two-week residency in 2015. 'It’s always a step off, running in a parallel world where the rules are slightly different.'..."
"... Working between a black box space and a concert hall, with percussion, piano, and a digital mixer, she spent time recording a wide-ranging palette of zany sounds, making acoustic noises sound synthetic, and vice versa. Those freewheeling sonic experiments formed the psychedelic and adventurous basis of Dust. Dazzling synth and saxophone melodies and incongruous samples zig-zag across this album’s surface..."
This summer, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) will present a special season of programming to coincide with Rensselaer’s inaugural Summer Arch semester. In addition to the production residencies and research projects that are regularly conducted at the center throughout the summer, the season will be punctuated by a number of concerts, film screenings, theater performances, and workshops.