Inside Rensselaer
* Laurie Andeson at EMPAC
Groundbreaking multimedia artist Laurie Anderson worked in EMPAC’s Studio 2 last fall to explore the theatrical uses of video to create her latest piece, Delusion, for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad.
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EMPAC Residency Programs:
Opening Doors to the Global Stage
Since opening in October 2008, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) has provided artists, scholars, researchers, engineers, and designers with opportunities to create new artwork and develop innovative ideas under a single roof.

“The Artist in Residence and the Scholar and Researcher in Residence programs provide the platform for individuals, companies, or groups to develop new approaches and new works in the time-based arts, with contemporary or yet-to-be developed tools and technology,” said Jason Steven Murphy ’02, public relations and marketing project manager for EMPAC. “Overall, the intent of the program is to support work that cannot be created or realized elsewhere, affording individuals with an opportunity to take risks and experiment with new ideas, which are not necessarily attached to a specific performance or a finished work.”

For example, musician, storyteller, and genre-crossing multimedia maven Laurie Anderson visited EMPAC for three short stays beginning in fall 2009, during which she explored the theatrical uses of video to create a new piece titled Delusion for the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. The piece, conceived as a series of short mystery plays, made its debut on Feb. 16. While at Rensselaer, Anderson also conducted several closed work-in-progress sessions for Rensselaer students, faculty, and staff. She was interested in experimenting with screens and small, flexible, and easy-to-tour equipment, and participation in the residency program provided her with an opportunity to further develop the piece.

Murphy noted that EMPAC’s state-of-the-art facility includes many firsts and exceptional attributes in the fields of acoustics, structural integrity, theatrical presentation, and digital media, along with high-bandwidth computer, audio, and video networks, which creates a technical infrastructure unlike any other performing arts centers and media research center.

The residences offer varying time-frames that may last for the entire duration of a project from inception to premiere, or for any phase of a project. Current artists in residence this spring include: The OpenEnded Group, a digital arts collective specializing in 3-D digital works who were commissioned by EMPAC to create Upending, “a breathtaking 3-D experimental animation”; Wayne McGregor | Random Dance, who will be working on a new artwork while also rehearsing to perform ENTITY, a work of “exacting and sensual movement for nine dancers, framed by multiple moving screens”; and composer Michael J. Schumacher, who is developing a new algorithmic sound piece for EMPAC’s multi-zone public address system.

For information regarding upcoming programs and events, visit www.empac.rpi.edu/.
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Inside Rensselaer, Strategic Communications and External Relations
1000 Troy Building, 110 Eighth Street, Troy, N.Y. 12180 or to leibat@rpi.edu.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 3, February 19, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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