To celebrate the launch of art_x, a new initiative at Rensselaer, members of the campus and local community are invited to a series of concerts co-sponsored by the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) and the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS). The concerts, scheduled for October 6 and October 20 beginning at 4:30 p.m., will take place in the CBIS auditorium.
The art_x initiative is designed so that Rensselaer students discover the art in science and the science in art. During this academic year, art_x will include team-taught classes that bring together artists, scientists, engineers, architects, and business experts—as well as integrating artistic theory and practice into the curriculum.
“The School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences is focused on responding to the world’s greatest challenges with agenda-setting research on human societies, institutions, minds, arts, and cultures,” said HASS Dean Mary Simoni. “Within a technological university, our school sits at the crossroads of humanity and technological innovation. We are seekers. We seek to understand the very nature of our humanity. Art_x is one of several programs that frame Rensselaer as the New Polytechnic by challenging the Rensselaer community to question the fundamental tenets that underpin the arts and sciences.”
The art_x concerts consist of three parts, each with a specific topic that serves as a starting point to explore the connections between music, science, and technology. The concerts have been organized and produced by Michael Century, professor of new media and music in the Department of the Arts, in collaboration with faculty at CBIS. Following each concert, a reception hosted by CBIS will be held in the gallery area.
The concerts also serve to highlight the BioArt collaboration, led by CBIS and HASS to further expand opportunities for discovery and innovation at the intersection of the arts, science, and engineering.
“I applaud the ingenuity, creativity, and commitment of the faculty involved in this inaugural art_x concert,” said Deepak Vashishth, director of CBIS. “This imaginative musical collaboration engaging a professor of chemical and biological engineering, a cognitive scientist, and a professor of new media and music will, no doubt, result in memorable concerts, and that is well worth the endeavor. It also opens up new avenues of scientific exploration and discovery for all involved, and it is that concerted effort to expand and accelerate research that we, too, are striving for.”
Tuesday, October 6
J.S. Bach “Partita in E minor” (1730)
Topic: emotion and reason in the music of J.S. Bach
Performed by Michael Century
Music composition using data from proteomic experiments
Topic: Sonification of biological data for aesthetic and scientific applications Presented by Mattheos Koffas, Zach Layton, Rob Hamilton
Steve Reich “Piano Counterpoint” (2009)
Topic: how time passes—classical and contemporary expressions
Performed by Michael Century
Tuesday, October 20
Jazz piano selections featuring Steve Cramer
Topic: improvisation in music and science
Performed by Steve Cramer
Igor Stravinsky “Petrouchka” (1911)
Topic: the combination of image and sound using live manipulations of digital images
Performed by Michael Century and Barbara Musial
Images by Barbara Todd, performed by Marissa Gerlich (GSAS ’17)
On Borders and Transformation in Music and Language
Introduced and performed by Sergei Nirenburg; with Marjorie McShane, French horn; and Bobby Kendall, string bass.