Los Angeles–based EMPAC-commissioned artist Clarissa Tossin discusses redefinitions of productivity and plays an excerpt from her recently composed musical score using 3D printed replicas of pre-Columbian instruments in US and Guatemalan collections.

HEARTBEAT OPERA—the daring young indie opera company whose unconventional orchestrations and stagings of classic operas have been called "a radical endeavor" by Alex Ross in The New Yorker—concludes its sixth season with its first adaptation of Verdi: LADY M, a reimagined and re-orchestrated work-in-progress, envisioning the story of Macbeth through the eyes of Lady Macbeth.

In light of the coronavirus pandemic the EMPAC team is working hard behind the scenes to bring you as yet unseen and unreleased videos from our extensive archive as well as livestreamed original works and discussions. These are generally being released on a weekly basis, and will be updated here as that happens.


New York, NY & Troy, NY (April 7, 2020) — Jaamil Olawale Kosoko and a team of collaborators including Everett-Asis Saunders, Nile Harris, and mayfield brooks present a series of remote events on Earth Day, April 22, 2020. Chameleon (The Living Installments) is presented by The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer and New York Live Arts.

EMPAC events through the end of the semester have been postponed or canceled to follow university protocols related to the coronavirus.

EMPAC has been approved for a $25,000 Art Works grant from the NEA to support the commissioning and development of new time-based art works this year.

EMPAC is pleased to join a consortium of art institutions from across the United States that will mount a nationwide season of programming informed by feminist thought and practice. Beatriz Santiago Muñoz's moving-image work will premiere in 2020 as part of the nationwide season of programming.

As an interdisciplinary arts center committed to the development of cross-genre performances and research, we talk a lot about the ways that sounds, images, and movements come together in shared space. But there’s another element mixed into EMPAC artistic productions, sometimes driving the work from the very beginning, sometimes following near the very end, when the technical pieces have fallen into place and the collaborators start to understand what it’s about.

EMPAC’s curatorial program commissions and develops new works year around, many of which are premiered here during the Spring and Fall seasons that coincide with Rensselaer’s academic calendar. This summer, a diverse lineup of international artists will be working on a range of new productions, many of which will find their premiere here in the coming seasons.

EMPAC is pleased to announce the hiring of Dr. Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti as the center’s new Curator of Music. An experienced curator as well as a highly accomplished violist, composer, scholar, and educator, Lanzilotti will begin her tenure at EMPAC starting in Fall 2019. At EMPAC she will be developing the music residencies and commissions as well as performances and events in continuation of EMPAC’s artistic directions and with her own perspectives.

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.

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.