EMPAC at RPI Announces Fall 2017 Season

Featuring Martine Syms, Andrew Schneider, Hieroglyphic Being, Enno Poppe, Boudry/Lorenz, Actress, Ali Moini, Laura Luna, Mohammad Reza Mortazavi, and many more

Troy, NY — The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is pleased to present its Fall 2017 season of concerts, theatrical productions, dance performances, film screenings, talks and workshops. View the entire calendar at empac.rpi.edu.

The season kicks off on August 21 with the opening of Martine Syms’ An Evening with Queen White. Open for viewing during standard building hours through Sept. 6, the augmented reality installation will introduce visitors to the virtual character Queen White, based in part on Motown legend Maxine Powell. Filmed with VR technology and then splintered between an array of projection screens in EMPAC Studio 1, the piece encourages visitors to explore the space, filling in the missing pieces of the film using a custom smart phone app.


Martyne Syms

On the final night of her installation (Sept. 6), Syms will screen her new feature-length video, Incense, Sweaters, and Ice for the first edition in the four-part Other Uses film series. Named for the kaleidoscopic work of Puerto Rican director Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (Other Uses #4Nov. 30), the series will also feature the work of Marwa Arsanios, Morgan Fisher, Mohammad Fauzi, Deimantas Narkevicius, Hito Steyerl (Other Uses #2Oct. 5), and Doa Aly, Yto Barrada, Joan Jonas, Shelly Silver, Ana Vaz, and Joyce Wieland (Other Uses #3Oct. 19).

Theater maker Andrew Schneider returns on August 31 and September 1 for the world premiere of AFTER, the follow up to his Obie Award-winning show YOUARENOWHERE. Known for mind-bending stage effects, Schneider has worked at EMPAC over the past year developing both the content and technology for the new show. This will mark the first time EMPAC’s Wave Field Synthesis 3D sound technology has been used in the theatrical context.

On September 8, Chicago dance music experimentalist Hieroglyphic Being will perform an extended set of his trademark outer-orbit house music. This is only the first of the season’s electronic dance parties in EMPAC Studio 1. On October 20, UK techno legend Actress will share the stage with up-and-coming Swedish DJ Toxe.

UC Berkeley media theorist Abigail De Kosnik will present a talk on September 13 titled The Media Crease: Traces of Reuse in Hard and Soft Copies. Considering the ways that traditional media show their use through physical evidence such as folded pages and deepened vinyl grooves, De Kosnik will consider similar effects in the digital landscape, such as retweets, glitches, and erasure.

The work of German composer Enno Poppe will take center stage on September 22. Performed by New York-based two-piano-two-percussion ensemble Yarn/Wire, the evening will feature the world premiere of Feld, a commission by EMPAC, as well as Tonband, Poppe’s co-composition with Wolfgang Heiniger.

Last spring, the artistic duo Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz worked in residence to create a new film based on a score by the late composer and Rensselaer professor Pauline Oliveros. On September 28, they will screen the final work, titled Telepathic Improvisation, which calls for the audience to telepathically communicate with the performers, lights, and fleet of autonomous white cubes.

On October 6, choreographer Elena Demyanenko and filmmaker Erika Mijlin will offer a work-in-progress preview of Echo/Archive, a project the duo are developing in residence to explore the notion of “bodily heritage,” how movement vocabularies are passed between generations. As with all EMPAC work-in-progress presentations, admission is free.

Mary Armentrout Dance Theater present a work-in-progress presentation of their developing work, Listening Creates an Opening, on October 27. A mobile work that traverses the Rensselaer campus and integrates time-lapse photography, the piece will receive its premiere in Fall 2018.

Microsoft’s HoloLens is fast becoming the leading platform for “mixed reality” experience. On November 1, the HoloLens will be available to demo all day on the EMPAC Mezzanine, followed by an evening talk by Microsoft developer Kayla Kinnunen. Titled Microsoft’s HoloLens and the Future of Human-Computer Interaction, the event will ask participants to help imagine new applications for this emerging technology.

My Paradoxical Knives is the title of Iranian artist Ali Moini’s solo dance, to be performed in the EMPAC Lobby on November 9. Based on Persian poetry and the dance of the whirling dervish, Moini’s work draws on cultural tradition to explore themes of distance and intimacy. The performance marks a residence during which Moini will be developing his new work, Intentions.

Laure Prouvost is a Turner Prize-winning Belgian artist best known for her films and gallery installations. This fall, she will be working in residence to develop her first major commission for the stage. On November 16, she’ll offer a work-in-progress preview of this new project, They Are Waiting for You.

Mexican multimedia artist Laura Luna works with synthesizers, field recordings, a modded Atari computer, and more to create surreal audio worlds based on science fiction and magical realism. On November 17, she’ll present a concert performance designed in and for the EMPAC Concert Hall.

On December 1, filmmaker Ephraim Asili will offer a work-in-progress screening and discussion of his new feature-length film, Inheritance, based on an urban collective of activists of color. Asili is in residence to develop the script with an ensemble cast and will take the audience behind the scenes of the film’s production.

Closing out the season will be Iranian hand-drumming virtuoso Mohammad Reza Mortazavi on December 8. Regarded as the world master of the tradition Persian drum, the Tombak, Mortazavi will make a rare American appearance in the EMPAC Concert Hall.

In addition to the above performances, this fall EMPAC will be offering free building tours on the first Saturday of each month. On September 2, EMPAC director Johannes Goebel will lead visitors through his initial vision for the space. On October 7, lead audio engineer Todd Vos will show visitors the acoustic features of the building as well as the sophisticated recording infrastructure. On November 4, stage technologies director Geoff Abbas will demonstrate the versatility of each performance space, taking visitors through the ceiling grid and into the theater fly tower. And on December 2, curators Victoria Brooks, Ashley Ferro-Murray, and Argeo Ascani will lead a tour of the building with an eye and ear toward the programmatic capabilities of each space. Each tour begins at 2PM.

For more information, please visit empac.rpi.edu.

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is where the arts, sciences, and technology interact with and influence each other by using the same facilities and technologies, and by breathing the same air. EMPAC hosts artists and researchers to produce and present new work in a building designed with sophisticated architectural and technical infrastructure. Four exceptional venues and studios enable audiences, artists, and researchers to inquire, experiment, develop, and experience the ever-changing relationship between ourselves, technology, and the worlds we create around us. EMPAC is an icon of the New Polytechnic, a new paradigm for cross-disciplinary research and learning at Rensselaer, the nation’s oldest technological research university.

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