On Thursday evening, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center hosted a night dedicated to introducing its new exhibit Dancing on the Ceiling. The evening was held in conjunction with a free viewing of 2001: A Space Odyssey on the Concert Hall’s 56-foot-wide screen and a lecture from the film’s special effects director, Douglas Trumbull. Trumbull discussed both the artistic and engineering sides of the movie’s special effects, giving those in attendance a glimpse into the intersection of arts and technology that EMPAC was created to display. The event was eagerly anticipated by many members of the Rensselaer community and fairly well-attended, with the Concert Hall filled to about 60 percent capacity.
The Poly was excited to see the number of students, faculty, and staff that came out for the evening; we were excited to see this level of enthusiasm for an EMPAC event in light of the sparse attendance many exhibits tend to experience. This type of event proved to be one that attracts a large crowd to EMPAC: a mixture of the more “experimental” exhibit and the more traditional experience of the speaker and movie. On the whole, the evening seemed more geared toward the typical RPI student and thus appealed to a larger percentage of the community.
We extend our thanks to EMPAC administration and staff who brought such a great event to campus, and hope that we see more events that appeal to members of the Rensselaer community in the future (especially if they are free). This is exactly what the student body needs to mitigate the negative views of EMPAC and encourage student attendance at events. There are several events already planned for the semester that seem to fit into this goal, such as “Upending,” the performance this week from the OpenEnded Group, and the onedotzero festival in April with performances by AntiVJ and Diplo. We are slowly starting to see EMPAC’s potential shine and hope it continues to follow this direction.