Inside Rensselaer
* EMPAC Presents World Premiere of “Upending” March 25-27
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EMPAC Presents World Premiere of “Upending” March 25-27
The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) will present the world premiere of Upending, a work created by the innovative digital arts collective The OpenEnded Group commissioned by EMPAC and created in residence over a period of over two years. The performances will take place on Thursday, March 25, and Friday, March 26, at 7 p.m. (with a matinee at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 27) in the EMPAC Theater.

According to EMPAC, Upending is “a revelatory stereoscopic theater performance: an animated, actor-less drama of disorientation and reorientation that compels viewers to rethink their relationship with the material world.” Using ordinary flat photographs and stereoscopic HD video as the basis for a battery of non-photorealistic rendering techniques, Upending transfigures familiar objects, spaces, and persons in ways that are both beautiful and uncanny. The play of images is accompanied by a new EMPAC-produced recording of Morton Feldman’s first String Quartet by the FLUX Quartet that places the listener, literally, in the center of the ensemble, with every sonic gesture articulated across space simultaneously.

Following a post-performance break for refreshments, each evening will conclude with The Making of Upending, a talk and question-and-answer session covering the two-year process of the work from inception to premiere.

The OpenEnded Group is three digital artists — Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar, and Paul Kaiser — who create works for stage, screen, gallery, page, and public space. These include the collaborations BIPED with Merce Cunningham and Ghostcatching with Bill T. Jones; Pedestrian; Loops, which self-regenerates by means of artificial intelligence; and Enlightenment, a piece that autonomously reconstructs an extraordinarily complex fugal passage in late Mozart. In 2008, it released Field, an open-source authoring system that promises to revolutionize digital art-making. “One of the most fearless and important new-music ensembles around” (San Francisco Chronicle) and “legendary for its furiously committed, untiring performances” (The New Yorker, Alex Ross).

Upending was commissioned by EMPAC and developed in residence over a two-year period utilizing EMPAC’s unique facility, technology, and staffing. The commission was made possible by support from the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts.

Tickets are required for this event and are available for $15 general admission, $10 for students, seniors, Rensselaer faculty and staff, or $5 for Rensselaer students (appropriate identification is required).

Additional event information can be found on the EMPAC Web site, www.empac.rpi.edu or call the EMPAC Box Office at 276-3921.
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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 4, Number 5, March 19, 2010
©2010 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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