In 2012, avant-garde jazz saxophonist John Zorn performed a rare solo set in EMPAC's Studio 2. Zorn's label Tzadik Records has now released an album-length recording of the show, titled The Classic Guide to Strategy Vol. 4. This is the fourth and penultimate installation in a series of solo records that Zorn began in 1983. Filled with wit, drama, playfulness and intensity, the composer's legendary virtuosity and powerful improvisational logic is on full display.
In March of 2015, Italian artist Rosa Barba presented The Color Out of Space, a meditative science-fiction film, crafted from images taken through the telescope at Rensselaer's Hirsch Observatory, and projected on the facade of the EMPAC building.
This fall, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center is launching the EMPAC+ (EMPAC Plus) student program. Part of the campuswide Art_X initiative to integrate the methods and mindset of art-making across the Institute curriculum, the program offers free admission to all EMPAC-curated events as well as a multi-tiered rewards system encouraging students to more deeply explore the experimental arts at Rensselaer.
Developed and premiered at EMPAC in 2014, Isabelle Pauwels' ,000, has been adapted as a radio play and is available to stream on the Or Gallery website. Originally conceived and presented as an immersive installation with 27 channels of audio, 9 channels of video, sculptural elements and choreographed lighting, ,000, has also been adapted into a single-channel video that was recently screened as part of the DIM Cinema series at the Cinematheque.
The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is pleased to announce the hiring of Ashley Ferro-Murray to the position of Curator of Theater and Dance. With a background in choreography and critical theory, Ferro-Murray comes to EMPAC following the recent completion of a PhD in Performance Studies from the University of California, Berkeley with a focus on New Media.
The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer recently debuted a unique new system that explores the relationship between sound and space. “Think of it like a pebble dropping into a pond,” says EMPAC’s lead audio engineer Todd Vos, describing the way a sound wave emanates from a speaker head. Now picture 500 tiny speakers arranged in a continuous ring around the room. As every one of those speakers casts sound into the room, the waves overlap and intersect, creating a dense, three-dimensional, immersive sound environment for a listener to explore.
The Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory board (equivalent to the National Endowment for the Arts in the US), has enlisted the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as host venue for a new international arts residency program.
When Caitlin McCleery enrolled at Rensselaer, she never expected she’d end up learning so much about smoke machines and LED lights. Since February, the junior biomedical engineering student has been working with the stage technologies team at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) and, as anyone who has been attending EMPAC shows this fall knows, stage fog and colored strobe lights have been a ubiquitous part of the fall season.
During her tenure as EMPAC Distinguished Artist in Residence, Laurie Anderson used her time in 2014 to develop a segment of the film that would become Heart of a Dog. The film is meditation on life and death, centered around her dog Lolabelle. It was just announced that Heart of a Dog has made the short list of 15 films that may receive a nomination for the Academy Award in the category of Best Documentary Feature.
Standing in the middle of the Studio 1 black box at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), Ute Besenecker says, “There’s no better space to do this work.” In four corners of the room, the Ph.D. architecture candidate and her small undergraduate research team have constructed isolated light environments consisting of curved screens, heavy black curtains, and a rig of different overhead lights.