bora yoon

EMPAC Announces Search for Associate Music Curator

The full-time, fixed-term position will be filled for two years on the level of associate curator.
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The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute seeks a curator with expertise in the area of music to join the curatorial team. EMPAC’s curators work within the context of contemporary production and performance practices, which include the integration of digital technology.

EMPAC’s three curatorial positions are for time-based visual art, theater/dance, and this position, music. Curators have an in-depth expertise in their specific discipline, while collaboration within the team allows for permeable disciplinary boundaries. Genre-crossing projects and those that combine different media and multiple approaches are a vital component of the curatorial team’s practice. Discussion, exchange, and advice among curators are a central part of EMPAC’s approach.

All artistic projects at EMPAC fall within the field of the time-based arts and focus on the intersection of contemporary artistic practice with current and evolving technologies through the utilization of the center’s extensive infrastructure and production expertise.

EMPAC seeks a curator with deep knowledge, hands-on commissioning and production experience, and far-reaching interests across a variety of music traditions and current developments. Experience with the intersection of contemporary artistic practices and technologies and the relationship between tools, aesthetics, and artistic goals is crucial. The curator should enjoy exploration and collaboration, see an audience as essential to the arts, and seek to challenge and contribute to an exceptional contemporary artistic platform at the oldest engineering school in the US.

At the heart of Rensselaer’s campus, EMPAC is a research and production center at the intersection of art, science, and technology. The Center is not part of a school or department, there are no EMPAC-specific faculty positions, and the venues and studios are not used for regular classes. The connection between artistic work and academic goals is crucial, but always project-based and artist-specific. The exchange of knowledge, expertise and experience across art, science, and technology is equally project-specific.

The curatorial team shapes the artistic program of EMPAC. Curatorial and artistic projects are conceived and produced year-round, including production and research residencies, commissions, performances, workshops, and conferences.

Insight into EMPAC’s artistic program can be found on the website and by downloading a PDF of the publication “Programming EMPAC” which includes the curatorial program and associated academic programs until 2015 (the second volume of this book will be published this summer).


All three curators report equally to the Director. The associate curator of music develops, implements, and manages EMPAC specific programs for residencies, commissions of new works, performances, events, and lectures. As a member of the curatorial team, the curator works in close collaboration with EMPAC’s director, production teams (audio, video, stage, IT), and administrative teams (communications, front of house, artist, and guest services).

The curator will monitor national and international developments under artistic and intellectual perspectives, and establish and maintain contacts with artists, festivals, and foundations, including pursuing co-production and grant opportunities. The curator develops program strategies that directly engage the academic and campus communities of Rensselaer.


A solid practical, intellectual, aesthetic, and historical understanding of current directions in music, and experience in the production of musical works is required, including contemporary classical music. The production of new works is central to EMPAC’s curatorial program and as such, each curator also takes on the role of producer.

The candidate must be able to read Western music notation fluently, have a working knowledge of classical harmonic frameworks, and have an understanding or expertise in “non-Western” and “non-classical” music cultures. Additionally, knowledge of and experience with digital technology as a compositional, production, and performance tool in both music and the performing and time-based arts is required. The position allows flexibility on emphasis and experience in one or all of the areas listed above.

It is expected that motivation, interest, communication skills and intellectual agility allow the associate curator to expand and grow in all areas during their tenure at EMPAC.

A bachelor’s degree in music or related field plus three years professional experience at the intersection of curatorial, programming and producing work in music is required, with a master’s degree in music preferred.

In order to avoid potential conflicts of interest, curators at EMPAC do not pursue their own active professional artistic practice that is geared towards public presentation. Artists seeking to continue their individual artistic work while being an EMPAC curator, as well as academics with no previous curatorial or production experience, should discuss related questions with the director before applying.

Full-time relocation to the Capital Region New York is required. Qualified candidates must apply online.

First review of application pool will take place on April 11, 2022.

Main Image: Bora Yoon in residence in 2022. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Michael Valiquette/EMPAC.

February 16, 2022