Posts Tagged ‘EMPAC’

A Cabinet of Curiosities Performed in “Death and the Young-Girl” at EMPAC in Troy [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
Death and the Young-Girl (photo: Robert Bouthillier)

“Death and the Young-Girl” (photo: Robert Bouthillier)

There are several unusual – and endlessly fascinating – programs at EMPAC in Troy in the coming days. Most interesting is theatrical experimentation that conflates sound poetry, classroom lessons from a one-of-a-kind ballet instructor, songs, sculptures and music by a string quartet which combine to form a multifaceted and symbolic portrait of “the Young-Girl.” Created by Québec-based Bureau de l’APA, and presented by the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, on Saturday, October 12 at 7pm it is another chance to see what the cutting edge artists of today are doing to push the creative envelope.

Inspired by a treatise by the French collective Tiqqun titled “Raw Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl,” Bureau de l’APA’s “La Jeune-Fille et la Mort (Death and the Young-Girl)” illustrates in fragments the concept of the “girlization” of the world so characteristic of our era of over-consumption and pathological seduction. According to the texts, “the Young-Girl is not always young; more and more frequently, she is not even female. She is the figure of total integration in a disintegrating social totality.”

Ferociously undisciplined and rigorously unruly, Bureau de l’APA generate emotion in uncommon ways as they deconstruct ideas, words and clichés and hijack eras, genres and styles. Blasts of protest have never blown with such grace on our certainties and convictions.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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Glistening Music from Oneohtrix Point Never at EMPAC at RPI, 9/12/13 [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Oneohtrix Point Never – a k a the ambient-noise musician Daniel Lopatin – generally forgoes percussion altogether, instead creating beautiful, glistening caverns of space that shift in sneaky, oceanic fashion. At once they’re vast and also slippery. But something as pedestrian as a beat? Never that.

The Brooklyn-based composer creates music that is often described as “cinematic” and “orchestral.” While broad in range, Lopatin does not ignore the small stuff; his sound engineering crafts and controls every detail and effect. Pulling from a wide range of influences—synth sounds, television commercials, classical minimalism, and high-end audio production—Lopatin condenses the disparate sounds to form music that slopes forward with self-contained narratives.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

FILM/LIVE: “The Films of Laurie Anderson” @ EMPAC at RPI, 5/2/13

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013
Laurie Anderson

Laurie Anderson

Review by Greg Haymes
Photographs by Sara Ayers

Back in 1998, Laurie Anderson was headed into the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall – just down the hill a bit in Troy from EMPAC at RPI – to perform “The Speed of Darkness.”

“I guess you could say that it’s kind of my tirade about technology,” Anderson said in an interview at the time. “I was just feeling so frustrated with all of this equipment that I decided to write about it. It really is a situation where equipment and the technology tends to escalate. Not just for me, a `multimedia artist,’ but I think for everybody, and everybody feels this pressure.”

Chances are Anderson was feeling that same pressure earlier this month during the second half of her double-header, “The Films of Laurie Anderson” at EMPAC. The earlier 5pm screenings went off without a hitch, as she screened a wide variety of short films, including “What Do You Mean We?” (produced as a segment for the PBS-TV series “Alive From Off-Center”), “Drum Dance” (an excerpt from her 1986 concert film “Home of the Brave”), “O Superman” and “Beautiful Red Dress” (a pair of music videos), a captivating interpretation of “Carmen,” an excerpt from her 1994 CD-ROM “Puppet Motel,” a handful of decidedly left-of-center “Personal Service Announcements” (addressing the national debt and the national anthem, among other intriguing topics) and a strange promotional video for her 2010 album, Homeland.

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Win FREE Tickets for “It’s going to get worse and worse, my friend” @ EMPAC on Friday!

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Counter to the childhood rhyme of “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” we know that speech can be a mighty weapon. Throughout the centuries, it has fired up countless masses and mobilized them into action… for better or worse. It has unleashed revolutions and fueled wars. Such is the power of words.

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Laurie Anderson and Pauline Oliveros Film & Performance May 2 at RPI’s EMPAC in Troy [Berkshire on Stage]

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

Laurie Anderson and Pauline Oliveros @ EMPAC

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York announces an evening of screenings by EMPAC distinguished artist-in-residence Laurie Anderson featuring a special guest performance with both Anderson and Rensselaer Arts professor and composer Pauline Oliveros. The screenings will take place in the Concert Hall at 5 and 8PM on Thursday, May 2, 2013.

The back-to-back presentations will provide audiences with a unique opportunity to be fully immersed in Laurie Anderson’s films and videos. She will lead us through two separate screening programs, including many of her works. The 8PM presentation will be capped off with a screening of a silent film to which Anderson and Pauline Oliveros play together.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Be Here Now: The Quay Brothers’ “Phantom Museums”

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

The Quay Brothers: Selections from Phantom Museums @ EMPAC

As part of their Shadow Play film series, EMPAC at RPI in Troy is offering a one-night-only screening a handful of short films by the Quay Brothers at 7:30pm on Thursday (April 18). Culled from their double-DVD collection Phantom Museums, the films span the 30-year career of identical twins Stephen and Timothy Quay, highlighting their unique stop-motion puppet films that are brimming over with haunting, dream-like visions. Still is truly stunning, mesmerizing stuff…

The films begin at 7:30pm on Thursday, and admission is $6. The screening includes:
“Street of Crocodiles” – 1986 (20:32 min.)
“The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer” – 1984 (14:12 min.)
“Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies” – 1987, (14:29 min.)
“The Comb” (from “The Museum of Sleep”) – 1990 (18:04 min.)
“Still Nacht IV” – 1994 (3:56 min.)
“In Absentia” – 2000 (19:17 min.)

Technogenesis and Why You Should Care with Katherine Hayles @ EMPAC, April 17 [Berkshire on Stage]

Monday, April 15th, 2013
RPI’s guest speaker on digital media is N. Katherine Hayles. She is a bit of a prophet, though more wise and wonderful than great and powerful.

RPI’s guest speaker on digital media is N. Katherine Hayles. She is a bit of a prophet, though more wise and wonderful than great and powerful.

When you smash art and science together, be prepared for The Great Conflation where logic and imagination meet. Consider, for example, how permanent a book is compared to technology. Treated with care, books last hundreds of years and the thoughts of earlier writers are still accessible today in physical form. Meanwhile technology, which keeps updating itself, often makes written material ephemeral and history will not be able to access much of the important writing of the digital age unless we archive it all.

Who decides this? How do we go about preserving the best of the internet’s output for future generations. How can we know which of it is going to be important to people a century or millennium from now? It’s the sort of thing that keeps N. Katherine Hayles awake at night. Nobody better embodies The Great Conflation as science is employed to understand writing, literature and philosophy for future generations.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE: The Peter Evans Quintet @ EMPAC at RPI, 3/29/13

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Peter Evans

Peter Evans

Review by J Hunter
Photographs by Timothy Reidy
A JazzApril story

In our last episode, drummer Clifford Barbaro revealed his former bandleader Sun Ra’s description of his legendary Arkestra (“This is not a jazz band! This is an avant-garde band!”), after which Barbaro looked at us in total consternation and said, “What’s ‘avant-garde?’” Clifford, wherever you are, I think I found your answer.

Ladies and gendarmes, I give you the Peter Evans Quintet, a unit that has been making (in the words of its trumpet-playing leader) “weird noises” since 2009. The band is described as “an adventurous jazz quintet for the 21st century,” and their music is purported to present “traditional idioms contorted by real-time computer processing and performed with pinpoint accuracy.” That’s marketing, baby! What’s more, the pieces performed at EMPAC last Friday night had only been performed in Europe since the Jerome Foundation and Roulette Intermedium commissioned them in 2011. “So it’s good to play this music on home turf,” trumpeter-composer Peter Evans told us.

My reaction? “What’d we ever do to YOU?”

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