EMPAC at RPI Announces Its 2012 Spring Schedule

EMPAC at RPI in Troy has announced its 2012 spring season of events, and as usual, there’s plenty of intriguing, adventurous stuff coming our way – theater, music, film, dance, talks, visual art and a whole lot of performances that often combine various aspects of the arts into performances that are pretty much unclassifiable.

Here’s the line-up:

FILM: “Vertigo”
Thursday, January 26, 7:30pm, $6
A rare screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s classic psychological thriller, where the present is
inextricably entangled with memories of the past.

WORK-IN-PROGRESS PERFORMANCE: Rodrigo Pardo + Bárbara Foulkes’s “Tethered: Vertical Performance”
Saturday, February 4, 7pm, FREE
Two divergent 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.

flota from barbara foulkes

TALK: John D. Barrow’s “Better than a Thousand Words”
Wednesday, February 8, 6pm, FREE
The famed physicist will discuss the observer effects principle and the impact of images on the development of science throughout history.

TALK: Zbigniew Oksiuta’s “A Biological Future?”
Tuesday, February 14, 12noon, FREE
Using biological polymers as construction material, the Rensselaer Architecture professor will present his research on creating biological living habitats and projects developed by his students.

CONCERT: Lucky Dragons’ “Actual Reality”
Wednesday, February 15, 8pm, $18
A complex audio-visual piece that is a performance and document all at once. Along with the “real” performance, collected material from previous performances and rehearsals is processed and layered, creating an endless loop of what is and what has been.

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FILM: onedotzero’s “poemetrics”
Thursday, February 16, 7:30pm, $6
An entertaining series of short films that look at expressive moving image work based on or inspired by poetic texts.

PERFORMANCE: Annie Dorsen’s “Hello Hi There”
Saturday, February 18, 8pm, $16
A humorous meditation on the division between human and machine presented through a live conversation between two chatbots discussing the nature of language, creativity and political power.

EXHIBITION: Ryan & Trevor Oakes’s “The Periphery of Perception”
Monday, February 20–Thursday, May 31; Monday-Saturday 12noon-6pm, FREE
A new commission and exhibition of work by identical twins Ryan and Trevor Oakes that probes the nature of visual perception and light.

FILM: “Last Year at Marienbad”
Directed by Alain Resnais
Thursday, February 23, 7:30pm, $6
Alan Resnais’ award-winning 1961 film, where narrative unfolds into uncertainty, and time and space are not always what they seem.

FILM: onedotzero’s wow + flutter 11
Thursday, March 1, 7pm, $6
A collection of short films that forecast the future of moving image and serve up radical new takes in music video.

FILM: onedotzero’s “wavelength 11”
Thursday, March 1, 8:30pm, $6
A collection of short films that forecast the future of moving image and serve up radical new takes in music video.

PERFORMANCE: Jean-François Peyret’s “RE: Walden”
Saturday, March 3, 8pm, $18
A melding of theater, music, live performance and large-scale video projection. Using voice and movement, a single performer interacts with sonic and visual elements to create a multi-layered interpretation of Thoreau’s revolutionary musings of Walden Pond.

EXHIBITION: Ben Rubin’s “A Shakespeare Accelerator: Experiments in Kinetic Language”
Monday, March 5–Saturday, July 28; Monday-Saturday, 12noon-6pm, FREE
Ben Rubin transforms the public interior of EMPAC into a laboratory of words and motion, projecting glowing white text from Shakespeare’s complete dramatic works onto walls, walkways and other surfaces.

TALK: Jonathan Sterne’s “MP3: A Hundred-Year History of an 19-Year-Old Format in Under an Hour”
Wednesday, March 7, 6pm, FREE
The McGill University professor offers a history of digital media through the MP3 format and its impact on the meaning of hearing.

CONCERT: Talea Ensemble’s “Music of Fausto Romitelli”
Saturday, March 31, 8pm, $18
The ensemble performs the work of Fausto Romitelli, who twisted the sound field of psychedelic rock to create his own artificial palette for composition.

EXHIBITION: Jennifer & Kevin McCoy’s “Index”
Monday, April 2–Saturday, September 29; Monday-Saturday, 12noon-6pm, FREE
Inspired by J.G. Ballard’s short story “The Index,” sprawling sculptures filmed by live cameras present a landscape of people and places that implies an overarching narrative of the 1960s to the present day.

CONCERT: John Zorn
Tuesday, April 3, 7:30pm, $18
The prolific avant-garde saxophonist comes to EMPAC for a rare solo performance.

CONCERT: Colin Stetson & Tyshawn Sorey
Thursday, April 5, 7:30pm, $18
Two extraordinary composer/performers take their instruments into uncharted territory.

DANCE: Kota Yamasaki | fluid hug hug’s “(glowing)”
Friday, April 6, 8pm, $18
A subtle and powerful work for six dancers that combines butoh, a Japanese dance form that embraces shadows and darkness, with traditional African dance and contemporary movement to create a scenario in which lightless vision ignites the imagination.

TALK: Tim McGee’s “Biomimicry: Bridging Biology to Design, Engineering, and Business for a Thriving Planet”
Wednesday, April 11, 7pm, FREE
Through examples and stories, the biologist shares where biological wisdom is changing the way we work, think and create, and where increasingly our technologies have more in common with 3.8 billion years of evolution.

TALK: Zbigniew Oksiuta’s “A Biological Future?”
Thursday, April 12, 12noon, FREE
Using biological polymers as construction material, the Rensselaer Architecture professor presents his research on creating biological living habitats and projects developed by his students.

Thursday, April 12, 7:30pm, $18
A live handmade film and electronic music event inspired by the late author David Foster Wallace’s remarkable novel of the same name.

Saturday, April 14, 4pm, FREE
Observe dancers as they address Sgorbati’s concept of the emergent process, and witness how patterns naturally emerge through improvisation in dance and music.

TALK: Ryan & Trevor Oakes’ panel discussion: “The Periphery of Perception”
Wednesday, April 18, 6pm, FREE
A conversation on optics, the nature of light and the rendering of visual reality featuring writer Damien James, photographer Michael Benson and artists Ryan and Trevor Oakes.

FILM: “Dead Man”
Thursday, April 19, 7:30pm, $6
Jim Jarmusch’s re-imagining of classic Hollywood Westerns, featuring Johnny Depp and an eerie, improvised soundtrack by Neil Young.

DANCE: Wally Cardona & Jennifer Lacey with Jonathan Bepler’s “TOOL IS LOOT”
Friday & Saturday, April 20 & 21, 8pm, $18
Choreographers/dancers Wally Cardona and Jennifer Lacey come together in this duet with their identities simultaneously undone and strengthened. They ask the question: What comes after you don’t know anymore?

TALK: Leslie Vosshall’s “Bitten: Why Do Mosquitoes Bite Some People and Not Others?”
Wednesday, April 25, 6pm, FREE
The Rockefeller University neuroscientist gives an in-depth presentation on the origins and complexities of smell and its impact on our behavior.

Friday, April 27, 8pm, $18
This premiere of Cohen’s EMPAC-commissioned project, a documentary-based hybrid built from film footage of Nova Scotia, various texts and live music by Guy Picciotto (Fugazi), Todd Griffin and Jim White (Dirty Three), is a visual and sonic exploration of place.

TALK: Lisa Cartwright & Christina Lammer’s “Empathography: The Art of Clinical Intimacy”
Wednesday, May 2, 6pm, FREE
A multi-media screening, performance and lecture exploring what the senses experience in the austere environment of surgery.

FILM: “Before Sunrise”
Thursday, May 3, 7:30pm, $6
Director Richard Linklater’s film tracks a conversation between two people through the streets of Vienna as they reflect on topics such as time and eternity.

TALK: Marco Iacoboni’s “Mirror Neurons and Our Capacity for Empathy”
Wednesday, May 9, 7pm, FREE
Marco Iacoboni’s work in mirror neurons illuminates the remarkable human ability to accurately interpret the feelings and intentions of others. Taking imitation as a fundamental form of learning and non-verbal communication, he discusses its profound implications for understanding empathy.

CONCERT: Pauline Oliveros’ “Oliveros at 80”
Thursday, May 10, 7:30pm, FREE
Celebrating the 80th birthday of Pauline Oliveros, complete with a musical performance
in a re-creation of the two-million-gallon Fort Worden Cistern.

CONCERT: musikFabrik
Sunday, May 13, 6pm, $18
20th century masterpieces juxtaposed with cutting edge compositions in a performance by one of Europe’s foremost new music ensembles that is sure to push the technical limits of the performers and stretch the ears of the audience.

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