EMPACThis fall, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer is celebrating the release of Programming EMPAC: The First 4,158 Days, a 688-page book presenting all the events, projects, and works developed and presented at EMPAC thus far. Conceived as a center spanning media, technology, performing arts, and research, 
EMPAC was a founding initiative of The Rensselaer Plan and has become representative of The New Polytechnic, Rensselaer’s commitment to fostering high-tech multidisciplinary collaboration and learning. Programming EMPAC documents every performance, residency, and research project dating from 2003 to the present.

Over this period of time, hundreds of people from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines came to create new work—artists, scholars, researchers, and students—all in collaboration with EMPAC’s team. The hardcover book begins with EMPAC in its current state, and ends with its first project: the Wooster Group’s
 THERE IS STILL TIME..BROTHER. Each project entry is a snapshot, with a brief description and vivid images, which combine to form a portrait of EMPAC.


Programming EMPAC documents every performance, residency, and research project dating from 2003 to the present. Pictured here is a scene from the Sept. 23, 2011, performance 69˚S by Phantom Limb, which featured half-lifesize puppets and was inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica in 1914.

“Now everyone can hold EMPAC in their own lap—seven pounds and 688 pages give an incredible testimony to what Rensselaer kicked off with EMPAC as an absolutely unique center in the academic world,” said Johannes Goebel, director of EMPAC. “Even if you have never been to an EMPAC event, or if you had no idea what EMPAC was about, this book will draw you into the multitude of activities in experimental media and performing arts created by EMPAC over the past 10-plus years.”

On Wednesday, September 2, at 5:30 p.m., EMPAC is inviting members of the Rensselaer campus, local community, and media to join in celebrating the launch of the new book. The event will be held on the EMPAC Mezzanine with drinks and snacks and copies of the book to browse.

Attendees who arrive before 6 p.m. will receive a complimentary copy of the book; afterward it will be available at the discounted price of $25. At 6 p.m., Director Johannes Goebel will speak about EMPAC’S core vision and the realization of this vision in EMPAC’s first 4,158 days and beyond.

Following the book launch, at 7 p.m. EMPAC will kick off its fall 2015 programming with the first screening in the On Screen/Sound film series, which explores innovations and experimentation in soundtrack design throughout the history of cinema. This first evening will include a showing of the sci-fi classic Tron with music by Wendy Carlos, among other shorts. Admission to both events is free.