Spring promises exciting events at EMPAC

The spring season at the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center promises to bring events to the RPI campus that are sure to both challenge and interest students, faculty, and staff alike. The season will start off big with Jeremy Wade: there is no end to more, an exploration of Japanese culture that will probably appeal to those who may see themselves as more likely patrons of Genericon than of EMPAC. The performance, on Thursday, January 28 and Friday, January 29 at 8 pm in the Theater, will combine innovative dance with a Japanese children’s television show in an enveloping way of looking at the “kawaii” world of Japanese media that is sure to be new to even the most die-hard anime or manga enthusiast. It will be paired with an exhibition of manga and anime in the Mezzanine, ongoing until February 3.

On Saturday, February 13 the New Nothing series will continue with a performance by Extra Life, Dan Deacon, and Nuclear Power Pants, a show that is sure to challenge every audience member’s preconceived musical notions. Extra Life combines complex yet accessible rock and jazz arrangements with a chanted vocal style reminiscent of medieval monks, while living party machine Dan Deacon (rescheduled from his cancelled performance from last semester) supplies a unique form of glitchy dance music. Nuclear Power Pants continues the party atmosphere with their brand of dance-noise.

February also brings Wayne McGregor | Random Dance to EMPAC with the performance ENTITY. The one hour dance performance in the theater will feature a soundtrack by Massive Attack and Coldplay collaborator Jon Hopkins and Diving Comedy and White Stripes collaborator Joby Talbot. Highlighting the crossover between science and art for which EMPAC was built, ENTITY will be preceded with talks by Wayne McGregor | Random Dance collaborators covering human cognition, multidisciplinary research, and real-time reactive systems that may interest even those members of the Rensselaer community with little interest in the more challenging artistic aspects of EMPAC. The dance performance will be Friday, February 26, and Saturday, February 27 at 8 pm, while the talks will be given Wednesday, February 17, Tuesday, February 23, and Wednesday, February 24 respectively.

While many of the events exhibit EMPAC as a performance venue, this season will also demonstrate EMPAC’s power as a development environment. March will see the world premier of The OpenEnded Group’s Upending. The event, an evening-long work of experimental 3D animation, was created largely using EMPAC’s facilities and assistance from EMPAC staff. Even the soundtrack, a recording of Morton Feldman’s first String Quartet by the FLUX Quartet, was recorded at EMPAC. This exhibit, with showings March 25-27, should prove to be an exciting exploration of the possibilities in 3D movies outside of what is available in major theaters. The end of the season will see the return of the onedotzero_adventures in motion festival, featuring a combination of screenings, installations, and audiovisual performances with the common theme of the moving image. The festival will run from Friday, April 30 to Sunday, May 2.

Even if you have not previously been interested in the events going on at EMPAC, you may find something that interests you this season. The full schedule is available at http://www.empac.rpi.edu/ and most events are free or $5 for RPI students.