EMPAC season promises entertainment


The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center is gearing up for another semester of performances, screenings, exhibitions, and more. Coming up first, The Eternal Return series offers a screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1958 classic thriller Vertigo on Thursday, January 26, at 7:30 pm in the EMPAC Theater. Tickets will be priced at $6 each. Starring James Stewart and Kim Novak, Vertigo is based on Boileau-Narcejac’s novel The Living and the Dead, which chronicles the story of a retired San Francisco detective with a crippling fear of heights who tracks the activities of a woman possessed by a spirit from another time.

The Eternal Return will show three other movies this semester, all at 7:30 pm and all costing $6 to attend. On February 23, look for Last Year at Marienbad, Alan Resnais’ award-winning 1961 film, where narrative unfolds into uncertainty and time and space are not what they seem. April 19 will feature Jim Jarmusch’s re-imagining of classic Hollywood Westerns, Dead Man, starring Johnny Depp and an eerie, improvised soundtrack by Neil Young. On May 3, the presentation will be Before Sunrise, a film that tracks a conversation between two people through the streets of Vienna as they reflect on topics such as time and eternity.

Other upcoming EMPAC events will include Tethered: A Vertical Performance by Rodrigo Pardo and Bárbara Foulkes, in which two artist-in-residence performances navigate vertical space through the tale of a man who slowly realizes he is living upside-down and a dance study of falling and floating that plays with perspective, time, and reality. Tethered will be presented on February 4 at 7 pm in EMPAC’s Studio 1 and the EMPAC Theater. It will be free to attend. On February 8, famed physicist John D. Barrow will give a talk titled “Better than a Thousand Words” in the EMPAC Theater at 6 pm. Barrow will discuss the observer effects principle and the impact of images on the development of science throughout history. On February 14, Rensselaer architecture professor Zbigniew Oksiuta will use biological polymers as a construction material to present his research on creating biological living habitats and projects developed by his students. This presentation, titled “A Biological Future?,” will be free to attend and will take place in the EMPAC Theater. February 15 will see a performance called Actual Reality, in which acoustic sounds of musicians and the audience are analyzed and resynthesized in real-time and then presented back for reply, creating a call and response. Along with the “real” performance, collected source material such as video and audio from previous performances, rehearsals, and incidental audio is processed and layered on top, creating an endless loop of what is and what has been. Actual Reality will cost $18 to attend (though discounted tickets will be available) and will take place in Studio 1.

onedotzero_adventures in motion returns to EMPAC on February 16 with poemetrics, a series of shorts that looks at expressive moving image work from treated live action to animation via motion graphics that are based on or inspired by poetry or poetic texts. These form a visual investigation of the words in poetic motion, enriching the meanings and enhancing the understanding. The program’s variety of works are entertaining, surprising, and beautiful, showing the combined power of moving image with poetry to thoughtful effect.

These are just the first few EMPAC events; they will continue throughout the semester. More information can be found on the EMPAC website at http://empac.rpi.edu/ or by calling the EMPAC Box Office at (518) 276-3921.