The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC).

The Australia Council for the Arts, the Australian Government’s arts funding and advisory board (equivalent to the National Endowment for the Arts in the U.S.), has enlisted the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer as a host venue for a new international arts residency program. Along with host organizations in Paris, Rome, London, Berlin, Helsinki, and Nashville, EMPAC will support the first of these artistic production residencies between July 2016 and June 2017, with all funding and an additional hosting sum provided by the Australia Council.

The Australia Council’s International Residencies Program was created to forge “partnerships with some of the best residency providers in the world to deliver a suite of residencies that enable the development of individual artists, arts mediators, groups and organizations.” Program organizers will work in tandem with EMPAC curators to select a project that fits EMPAC’s programming trajectory and best utilizes its technical infrastructure. The chosen applicant will be awarded a $10,000 production grant and be allowed two residential periods of up to three weeks to develop “time-based arts, with an emphasis on integrating technology as artistic means.”

EMPAC was approached with the offer because of its internationally renowned production environment that “supports the realization of complex works at any stage from inception to completion. Along with a state-of-the-art facility, it offers residents the support of a staff of experts in audio, video, interactive interfaces, and stage technologies.” While EMPAC often works with outside granting and co-commissioning organizations, this contract is a first for the Rensselaer program, and uncommon in the industry, given that EMPAC itself will be awarded funding.

“This is an indication of the national and international position created with and at EMPAC,” said EMPAC director Johannes Goebel of the contract. EMPAC has worked extensively with international artists since its inception, including with the Australian dance companies Ballet Lab and Chunky Move. With this arrangement, EMPAC has further established itself within the top group of international production, research, and performance facilities, developing multidisciplinary art with the integration of high-end technological tools and support by an interdisciplinary team of experts.

For more information on the Australia Council for the Arts International Residency Program, including a timeline for applications, visit the project website. For more information on past EMPAC residencies, a full list is available here. For further inquiries, contact Josh Potter.