EMPAC spring 2012

The trailer for one of the onedotzero series being shown at EMPAC this spring.

EMPAC's schedule for spring 2012 is out. And, as we've come to expect, it's full of stuff that looks interesting, weird, challenging, or just... different. The works on this season's slate make use of dance, animation, "actual reality," Walden, Infinite Jest, and mosquitoes.

Here are a handful of dates that caught our eye.

All blurbage from EMPAC's site.

February 4: Rodrigo Pardo + Bárbara Foulkes: Tethered: Vertical Performance
Two divergent artist-in-residence work in progress 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.

February 8: John Barrow:
Better Than a Thousand Words

The famed physicist will speak to the observer effects principle and the impact of images on the development of science throughout history. From the first graphs and illustrated books to MolScript; from the first pictures of spiral galaxies in Van Gogh's The Starry Night to the Hubble Space Telescope; and from the atomic bomb's mushroom cloud to the intricacy of fractals, this talk will examine the past influence of pictures in science and the growing influence of visual expression today.

February 15: Lucky Dragons: Actual Reality
Using an archive of Internet searches for the phrase "actual reality" as raw data for this process, acoustic sounds of musicians (and the audience) are analyzed and resynthesized in real-time and then presented back for reply, creating a call and response. Along with the "real" performance, collected source material--video and audio from previous performances, rehearsals, and incidental audio--is processed and layered on top, creating an endless loop of what is and what has been.

Lucky Dragons is a Los Angeles-based experimental music group, and includes any recorded, performed, installed, packaged, shared, suggested or imagined pieces made by Luke Fischbeck and Sarah Rara.

February 16: onedotzero_adventures in motion: poemetrics
Curated by onedotzero and produced in partnership with EMPAC, poemetrics is a series of shorts that looks at expressive moving image work, from treated live action to animation via motion graphics that are based on or inspired by poetry or poetic texts. These form a visual investigation of the words in poetic motion, enriching the meanings and enhancing the understanding. The program's variety of works are entertaining, surprising, and beautiful, showing the combined power of moving image with poetry to thoughtful effect.

March 1: onedotzero_adventures in motion: wow + flutter 11 / wavelength 11
The onedotzero_adventures in motion festival continues to infuse EMPAC with its trademark stellar animation programs and motion graphics shorts.

March 3: Jean-François Peyret RE: Walden
Inspired by the writings of transcendental philosopher Henry David Thoreau and the two years he spent living by Walden Pond, RE: Walden melds theater, music, live performance, and large-scale video projection. Images from Walden Pond overlap with sound and text in an integrated experience that joins an intricate automated orchestra playing with the live piano score, a single performer, and interactive video. Using voice and movement, the performer influences, triggers, and interacts with the complex web of sonic and visual elements at play to create a multi-layered interpretation of Thoreau's revolutionary musings of Walden Pond. Directed by Jean-François Peyret, this project brings together a stellar group of collaborative artists, many of whom have never been presented in the United States.

March 7: Jonathan Sterne: MP3, A Hundred-Year History of an 19-Year-Old Format in Under an Hour
There are now more MP3s in circulation than all other forms of recorded audio combined. Through a series of episodes, Jonathan Sterne offers a history of the MP3 format, and uses it to point to a longer, general history of compression in the 20th century. Our most basic ideas of what it means to hear and listen, as well as our ideas of information, are tied to the problems and progress of 20th century media. In its everyday combination of sound, information, and infrastructure, the history of the MP3 offers a radically different story about the meaning of hearing and the origins of digital media.

April 3: John Zorn
Legendary avant-garde saxophonist John Zorn gives a rare solo performance. An experimental jazz icon for almost 40 years, his playing pushes extended techniques to their limits in a whirlwind of virtuosity.

April 5: Colin Stetson + Tyshawn Sorey
Saxophonist Colin Stetson and percussionist Tyshawn Sorey push the boundaries of convention to produce musical complexities that border on the unreal. Each performing a set of their own works, Sorey and Stetson use extraordinary techniques to take their instruments into uncharted territory, creating music that exists in a cross-genre realm, drawing from jazz, classical, and pop with equal measure.

April 12: SUE-C + AGF: Infinite Jest
Infinite Jest lives both as an installation and as a live handmade film inspired by the complex and remarkable novel of the same name by the late author David Foster Wallace. The evening begins with the audience experiencing the performance space as an installation composed of a text-based soundtrack and various miniature sets intended for the audience to walk through and examine. The film is then brought to life through the lens of live cameras that follow the manipulation of photographs, drawings, scale models, and various three dimensional objects by visual artist and performer SUE-C, along with the live lush electronic soundtrack and vocals by AGF and narration from Francis Deehan. Set in a slightly futuristic world, the film is an attempt to create and re-create what character James Orin Incandenza, optics expert and filmmaker, considered his life's major work.

April 25: Leslie Vosshall: Bitten
How are mosquitoes able to detect our presence? Leslie Vosshall, neuroscientist and head of laboratory at Rockefeller University's Howard Hughes Medical Institute, will give an in-depth presentation on the origins and complexities of smell and its impact on behavior. Her talk will cover a range of topics from the physiology of our sense of smell to the history of perfume making, and will answer the age-old question, "why do mosquitos bite some people and not others?"

April 27: Jem Cohen
Jem Cohen's newest film is a documentary-based, interdisciplinary hybrid built from footage he gathered in Nova Scotia over the past decade, coupled with live music and texts that range from folklore to mundane local newspaper fragments to poems by Elizabeth Bishop and Don Domanski. As an artist who has explored and deplored the disappearance of regional character brought on by corporate-driven homogeneity, the discovery of Cape Breton was a revelation for Jem, who describes it as a place as beautiful as any he has ever seen throughout his travels, but one that remains elusive and deeply "itself." ... featuring such stellar musicians as Guy Picciotto (Fugazi), Todd Griffin, and Jim White (Dirty Three)...

May 9: Marco Iacoboni: Mirror Neurons and Our Capacity for Empathy
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. Presented as part of the Susan Sgorbati's creative research residency.

Here's the whole spring schedule.

Earlier on AOA: The lineup for the NYS Writers Institute spring 2012 visiting writers series


Thanks for sharing, All Over Albany! Hopefully you + some of the humans reading this can make it over to some of these - heck, if the spambots reading this can behave during a performance, we'd love to see them as well.

- Jason Steven Murphy
PR + Marketing Manager, EMPAC

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