September 2–December 11, 2015
Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, NY 12180
Cory Arcangel / Martin Arnold / Charles Atlas / Tarek Atoui / Dara Birnbaum / Patricia L Boyd / John Cage and Henning Lohner / Carlos Cordeiro / Daedelus / Dan Deacon and Jimmy Joe Roche / Brian de Palma / Loretta Fahrenholz / Mark Fell / Flatform / Mary Halvorson / Ant Hampton / Tim Hecker / Holly Herndon / Ikonika / France Jobin / Hassan Khan / Evelyn Lambert and Norman McLaren / Andrew Lampert / Mervyn Le Roy / Marcel L’Herbier / Steven Lisberger / Colin Marston / Kou Matsuo / Rashaun Mitchell / Gunvor Nelson / Robert Nelson / Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut / Oneohtrix Point Never / Elizabeth Orr / Lis Rhodes / Silas Riener / Paul Schrader / Cally Spooner / Deborah Stratman / vhvl / Jennifer West and Michael Ned Holte / Yarn/Wire / Akram Zaatari
In one of more than 25 events this fall, choreographer/dancer Silas Riener will explore the potential of dance in describing “things.” Based on word histories, personal histories, and translational acts in poet, translator, and essayist Anne Carson’s work, Riener will resist the linguistic impetus to name in the effort to describe through the articulation of his body.
As part of EMPAC’s artist-in-residence program, designed for extensive artistic and technological research and development, Riener is in residence with choreographer Rashaun Mitchell to work on a new stereoscopic film and accompanying performance with artist Charles Atlas, a pioneer of the synthesis of technology and performance. It is exactly this space of convergence between disciplines and languages that characterizes the fall 2015 program at EMPAC. Spanning time-based visual art, music, sound, dance, moving image, and performance, few of the season’s programs find easy categorization.
The season begins with “On Screen/Sound,” a series that traces the relationship between image and sound across a century of artists’ moving image and industrial cinema. This yearlong program presents Lis Rhodes’s iconic 1975 expanded cinema work Light Music, in dialogue with Henning Lohner and John Cage’s One11 (1992), as well as new digital restorations of classic cinematic collaborations such as Marcel L’Herbier’s 1924 modernist masterpiece L’Inhumaine, scored by Darias Mihaud, and Steven Lisberger and Wendy Carlos’ 1982 Tron. Pursuing an intergenerational as well as interdisciplinary exchange, the series will also present contemporary moving image works by artists such as Akram Zaatari, Deborah Stratman, Andrew Lampert, Hassan Khan, Loretta Fahrenholz, Dan Deacon, Jimmy Joe Roche, and Cally Spooner, alongside iconic 20th-century experimental films by Gunvor Nelson, Dara Birnbaum, Robert Nelson, Evelyn Lambert and Norman McLaren, among others.
The season’s performances start with Ant Hampton’s The Extra People, an interactive performance that relies on sonic instructions delivered to the audience-turned-actors through headphones. Italian collective Flatform will manipulate moving images and light to “see through” a static understanding of landscape, and Jennifer West will present an evening of “unabashed film love” with Los Angeles-based writer and curator Michael Ned Holte. Elizabeth Orr’s Mount Rushmore will render the plight of a park ranger, inundated with alarmist political email, in live action and animation; and during an EMPAC residency with Rensselaer professor and acclaimed composer Pauline Oliveros, Tarek Atoui will stage a performance and workshop to explore our range of listening abilities beyond simple auditory perception.
Mark Fell will debut his multi-genre performance Recursive Frame Analysis; Canadian sound artist France Jobin will treat the Concert Hall with a complex array of loudspeakers for a new multi-channel composition; electronic musician Oneohtrix Point Never will premiere his new show for stage; and electronic beatmakers vhvl, Daedelus and Ikonika will take over the building. Tim Hecker returns to EMPAC after recording parts of his breakout album Virgins in the Concert Hall to develop a new performance combining sound and light. Electronic composer Holly Herndon will create and present new work, while jazz and metal virtuosity collide as guitarists Mary Halvorson and Colin Marston share a double-bill.
photo: Charles Atlas, Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener, production still at EMPAC, 2015. Photo: Mick Bello. 2) Loretta Fahrenholz, Ditch Plains (video still), 2013. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Buchholz, Berlin/Cologne. 3) Silas Riener. Photo: Michael Williams, Imagista. 4) Steven Lisberger, Tron, 1982. 35mm film cell with soundtrack. Courtesy Swank Motion Pictures. 5) Cally Spooner, And You Were Wonderful, On Stage, 2015. Video still at EMPAC, courtesy the artist.