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Rensselaer Unveils Plans for EMPAC
EMPAC, located on the southwestern edge of campus near Folsom Library, will enable Rensselaer students, faculty, the community, and beyond to explore and experience the nexus of research, technology, and the performing arts, where they will discover new opportunities for creativity and discovery, according to EMPAC Director Johannes Goebel.
EMPAC also will support a 2,500-square-foot black-box studio with a 28-foot ceiling optimized for music and multimedia performances; a 1,400-square-foot rehearsal and dance studio; four studios for artists-in-residence; professional-level recording, editing, and post-production facilities for audio and video; and digital broadcasting facilities for Rensselaers student radio station, WRPI.
Our goal is to enable artists, engineers, and scientists to meet in such a way that they respectfully challenge and change one another, while building on the distinct characters of their disciplines, Goebel says. EMPAC will create links between science and engineering research on one side and the sensory impact of art on the other. Goebel was the founding director of Germanys Institute for Music and Acoustics at the Zentrum fur Kunst und Medientechnologie (ZKM) in Karlsruhe. A center for art and media, ZKM is a forum for international exchange that combines art with research in science, art, politics, and finance.
In November, the New York City arts community, media, and other invited guests were offered a sneak preview of EMPACs building and program. The event took place in The Duke, a 200-seat, black-box theater on 42nd Street.
The event included a plasma screen video loop of renderings, three models of the building, and two multimedia performances. The performances were conducted by Rensselaer faculty and international artists.
The New York City unveiling of EMPAC is an exciting next step in showcasing this premier facility, said President Shirley Ann Jackson. Building on Rensselaers current strengths in the arts and technology, EMPAC will be a leading-edge arts and media center with unsurpassed facilities for creative exploration. EMPAC will provide a platform for artists and technology-based researchers from around the world to gather and collaborate to create unique new forms of the performing arts, while conducting research in an arena ranging from visualization and animation to acoustics.
The design architect for EMPAC is Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners from London and New York. The architect of record is New York City architectural firm Davis Brody Bond. Working in collaboration with the architects are theater designers Fisher Dachs Associates and acousticians Kirkegaard Associates.
|Rensselaer Magazine: Winter 2003|
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