Inside Rensselaer
Volume 7, No. 5, March 15, 2013

EMPAC Presents

Alva Noë: See Me if You Can! Art and the Limits of Neuroscience
Wednesday, March 27

New ways of thinking about the nature of visual consciousness allow us to reconsider art and its place in our lives. In this lecture, Alva Noë, a leading figure in cognitive science, will argue that art is philosophical and philosophy is aesthetic. Against this background, new possibilities are presented for understanding what it is to be a person, questioning if our experience of the world stems from the firing of neurons in our brains or from our interactions with our surroundings.

Alva Noë is a writer and a philosopher living in Berkeley and New York. He works on the nature of mind and human experience. He is the author of Action in Perception (MIT Press, 2004); Out of Our Heads (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2009); and most recently, Varieties of Presence (Harvard University Press, 2012).

The talk begins at 6 p.m. in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Theater. Admission is free.

For more information, go to


Alva Noe
The Peter Evans Quintet
Friday, March 29
  Peter Evans Quintet

Taking jazz ensembles into the 21st century, the Peter Evans Quintet incorporates real-time sound processing with traditional instruments. These live electronics allow the group to change their sound fluidly from mellow tones to jagged rattling to cacophonous reverberation. The quintet draws on traditional jazz idioms as source material and contorts them into something resembling classical

European avant-garde—complete with complex rhythms played with pinpoint accuracy and confounding extended techniques.

The Peter Evans Quintet has been performing since 2009, and has played in New York, as well as toured internationally. In 2010, they performed commissioned music at the historic Donaueschingen Musiktage festival in Germany. The group embarked on a full European tour in 2012. The album Ghosts was released to wide critical acclaim in 2011 on Evans’ More is More label. It was at the top of best-of-the-year lists worldwide and has continued to garner praise. In late 2011, Evans was commissioned by the Jerome Foundation and Roulette Intermedium in New York to present a set of new pieces.

The performance begins at 8 p.m. in the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) Concert Hall. Admission is $6 Rensselaer students; $13 non-Rensselaer students, seniors, and Rensselaer faculty and staff; $18 general admission.

For more, go to

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Inside Rensselaer
Volume 7, Number 5, March 15, 2013
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
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