EMPAC @ RPI Announces Spring Concerts & Other Events

January 27th, 2017, 9:30 am by Greg

EMPAC at RPI has announced its Spring 2017 season of events – concerts, films, dance performances, video, workshops, lectures, demonstrations and various unclassifiable combinations.

It all kicks off tonight (Friday, January 27) and Saturday (January 28) with the premiere of media-dance pioneer Charles Atlas’ new two-part work, Tesseract, a six-chapter work of science fiction combining stereoscopic 3D video with live dance.

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Here’s the complete schedule of EMPAC events for the spring semester:

TALK: “Savage Love Life: Sex, Love & Relationships”
Friday, January 27, 6pm
EMPAC Concert Hall
FREE
Dan Savage is a writer, TV personality, and activist best known for his honest approach to sex, love & relationships. His sex advice column, “Savage Love,” is syndicated globally, including in The Alt.

PERFORMANCE: Tesseract
Tonight & Saturday (January 27 & 28), 8pm
EMPAC Theater
$18; $13 students & seniors
The new two-part work by artist Charles Atlas and choreographers Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener will be presented for the first time tonight (Friday, January 27) and Saturday (January 28) following several years of development at EMPAC.

TALK/DEMO: Kill the Overseer!: Playing the Rebel Slave in Videogames
Wednesday (February 1), demo 10am-9pm; talk 7pm
Demo @ Evelyn’s Cafe; Talk @ EMPAC Theater
FREE
In a video game demo and talk, Sarah Juliet Lauro will discuss how resistance to slavery is represented in video and computer games. Lauro will profile many games that feature this narrative and will demo an art game being developed by students at the University of Southern California called Thralled, which focuses on a runaway slave in Brazil.

DANCE: Poor People’s TV Room
Friday, February 10, 8pm
EMPAC Studio 1
$18; $13 students & seniors
Choreographer, writer and performer Okwui Okpokwasili and director Peter Born are at EMPAC to present their new work. Okpokwasili’s style transcends genre categories like experimental theater and conceptual choreography. The artist performs with three other women in a multifaceted work that features live song, dance and text amid other media including television, audio recording, light, plastic, cloth and wood.

TALK/DEMO: Introduction to Wave Field Synthesis
Thursday & Friday, February 16 & 17 (7pm); Saturday, February 18 (1 & 3pm)
EMPAC Theater
$6
Join EMPAC’s music curator Argeo Ascani and audio engineers Todd Vos and Jeff Svatek for an in-depth demonstration and discussion of EMPAC’s 496-speaker Wave Field Synthesis audio system.

DANCE: Modern Living
Thursday, February 23, 7pm
EMPAC Studio 1
FREE
The multi-chapter project by choreographers Gerard & Kelly is being made in collaboration with L.A. Dance Project to explore themes of queer intimacy and domestic space within legacies of modernist architecture.

VIDEO: Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz
Wednesday, March 1, 7pm
EMPAC Theater
$6
Berlin-based artists are in residence at EMPAC to produce a new moving-image work with multiple performers. For this event, the duo will introduce a program of videos by themselves and others, providing context for and insight into their new project.

MUSIC: Mohammad Reza Mortazavi
Friday, March 3, 8pm
EMPAC Concert Hall
$18; $13 students & seniors
Respected from Tehran to Berlin to Shanghai, the acclaimed Iranian hand drummer comes to EMPAC for a rare U.S. performance. Considered one of the most innovative and virtuosic hand drummers in the world, he has dominated elite international competitions since the age of 9.

VIDEO/FILM: Isabelle Pauwels
Thursday, March 23, 7pm
EMPAC Studio 2
$6
The Canadian artist is in residence to complete the pre-production and cast the actors for her major new moving-image work to be produced in the fall. The project takes its cues from the scripted artifice of professional Mixed Martial Arts and the spectacle of the televised Ultimate Fighting Championship. For this event, Pauwels will present clips, excerpts and shorts that span her extraordinarily wide range of visual, narrative and linguistic references.

FILM: “Some Kind of Joy: The Inside Story of Grimshaw in Twelve Buildings”
Monday, March 27, 6pm
EMPAC Theater
FREE
In 2001, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and his practice won the architectural competition for the design of EMPAC. Throughout the building’s construction, the collaboration between Grimshaw Architects (now just Grimshaw) and RPI was very close in all details of this extraordinary project. This film, directed by Sam Hobkinson, revisits key projects from the history of this renowned architectural practice, including EMPAC. With an introduction by project architect William Horgan.

TALK: When Performance and Philosophy Become Design Materials: Dialogues Between Dance and Interaction Design
Wednesday, March 29, 7pm
EMPAC Theater
FREE
Can we re-enact the experiences and histories of others? Are there ethical implications when affect becomes a design material? Can the performative methods currently used in human-computer interaction (HCI) design be refined and expanded using dance improvisation? These divergent questions are starting points for this talk about body-based approaches to design and HCI by phenomenology and digital media scholar Susan Kozel.

PERFORMANCE: Field
Thursday, March 30, 8pm
EMPAC Studio 1
$12
Performer, writer and interactive-electronics artist Andrew Schneider completes a series of three development residencies at EMPAC with this work-in-progress showing of his new performance. Picking up where his Obie Award-winning project Youarenowhere left off, his new work explores the physics and temporality of parallel universes and perception.

DANCE WORKSHOP: From Feldenkrais to GoPro
Wednesday, April 12, 5pm
EMPAC Theater
FREE
Choreographer Mary Armentrout is in residence to develop a new performance with media artist Ian Winters, composer Evelyn Ficarra and performer Chris Evans. Together, the collaborators will lead a workshop in which participants explore the intersections of bodily experience and technology.

MUSIC: Anne Akiko Meyers
Tuesday, April 18, 8pm
EMPAC Concert Hall
$18; $13 students & seniors
The superstar violinist presents an evening featuring repertoire works by Ravel and Beethoven as well as new pieces by Jakub Ciupinski and Morten Lauridesen. Pianist Akira Aguchi will accompany.

TALK/WORKSHOP: The Construction of Beauty: Music and Math
Wednesday, April 19, 7pm
EMPAC Theater
FREE
From the “harmony of the spheres” to different tunings for keyboard instruments, musical notation systems and numerical symbolism to algorithm-generated computer compositions — mathematics and music have shared a close relationship throughout Western history and culture. EMPAC director Johannes Goebel’s workshop will center on the question of whether music and mathematics are bonded in an intrinsic relationship, or if instead culturally driven concepts establish their marriage (nature vs. nurture).

FILM: Mariam Ghani
Monday, April 24, 7pm
EMPAC Theater
$6
Mariam Ghani introduces several films from the Afghan Film Archive — the state film institute based in Kabul, Afghanistan — as part of her ongoing research project What We Left Unfinished. The New York-based artist will also screen her own in-progress film, which explores five unfinished feature films that were made between 1978-1991, during the years of Afghan Communism.

DANCE: The Return of La Argentina
Tuesday, April 25, 5pm
EMPAC Mezzanine
FREE
Dancer-choreographer Trajal Harrell highlights the very different race and gender characteristics of two parallel worlds, as he mixes postmodern/voguing styles with the Japanese dance/theater form butoh, co-founded by Kazuo Ohno and Tatsumi Hijikata.