03 - 19 OCTOBER 2009

Participating artists: The Wooster Group; dumb type; Workspace Unlimited; Verdensteatret; Vox Vocal Ensemble and International Contemporary Ensemble; Per Tengstrand; Madlib; Cecil Taylor; Pauline Oliveros; Richard Siegal/The Bakery; Robert Normandeau, Fieldwork, Gamelan Galak Tika + Ensemble Robot, and more.


The Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center opens with a celebration spanning three weekends, from October 3-19. Dedicated to the advancement of artistic production integrating new approaches and research at the intersection of technology, media and the performing arts, a major emphasis at EMPAC is the commissioning of new performances and time-based installations.

EMPAC‘s new 220,000-square foot building, designed by the British firm Grimshaw, is both a signature work of architecture and a unique facility that combines many specialized venues under one roof, including: a 1,200-seat concert hall; a 400-seat theater; two black-box studio spaces; and artist/researcher work spaces, all capable of simultaneous, acoustically isolated use. Technical innovations are found in all venues: from the Concert Hall’s adjustable fabric ceiling, which allows acoustical flexibility, and
its near-silent HVAC; the Studios’ “tunable” tilting wall tiles; to the Theater’s 70-foot fly tower and computer controlled rigging.

Both a place and a program, EMPAC is an arts institution that draws strength from being part of a great research university. It operates nationally and internationally: attracting innovative artists, both renowned and emerging, from around the world; offering artists, researchers, and audiences opportunities that are available nowhere else; providing unsurpassed facilities for research and creative exploration, sending new artworks onto the global stage.

Friday-Sunday, October 3-5, 2008

The Gala Weekend offers audiences an introduction to the EMPAC program and mission with performances ranging from 15th-century choral music performed in a 21st-century concert hall to interactive 360-degree video installations to contemporary performances that merge visual media, theater and sound. A Presidential Colloquy and the official Ribbon Cutting on October 3 begin the weekend-and the festivities. Public artistic performances and research presentations begin Saturday, October 4.

Thursday-Saturday, October 9-11, 2008

The Symposium Weekend brings together an internationally diverse group of directors from leading research institutions to share their work in art, design and media-based research, spanning augmented reality to the visualization and auralization of scientific data. Performances, installations and exhibitions continue throughout the long weekend.

Friday-Sunday, October 17-19, 2008

Homecoming and Family Weekend focuses on the greater Rensselaer community. Events and performances ranging in genre and style-including many student groups-will reflect the diversity of the Rensselaer campus activities.