The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) is a multi-venue arts center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, which opened on October 3, 2008.
The director of EMPAC is Johannes Goebel. He was previously the director and founder of the Institute for Music and Acoustics at the Center for Art and Media Technology (ZKM) in Karlsruhe, Germany. The building is named after Curtis Priem, co-founder of NVIDIA and graduate of the RPI Class of 1982, who donated $40 million to the Institute in 2004.
Past residences have been Laurie Anderson, Wooster Group and Japanther.
On October 15 2014, Temporary Distortion began it’s second artist residency this year.
Back in February we were at Robert Wilson’s Water Mill Center.
Technically the two facilities are night and day. Where Water Mill, a converted factory, was like being in Bobs personal space nestled in the woods of Hamptons Long Island surrounded by ancient fertility monuments from around the world (meaning giant stone penisia as Louis CK says), EMPAC is a massive modern complex embedded on the side of a mountain over looking humble Troy New York. At Water Mill we did the show in the dining room. Here at EMPAC a 400-seat theater with an 80′ x 40′ stage, 60′ fly tower, and computer controlled rigging is our stage. You get the idea. But all that being said some things are very much the same. It’s always interesting as an artist living in New York City how much time is taken by just being able to survive the city itself. For me it means many hours on my own working to make deadlines or traveling to and fro. The nice thing about a residency outside of the city is the full emersion into a specific work. All the people involved and all the resources used are easily accessible at any given moment. The company lives together, buys groceries together, eats together, and experiences time together. We learn each others stories, habits, likes and dislikes. Not unlike a family, but instead of raising kids we’re raising installations, videos and music. We are here for three weeks. Please check in on us here on johnsully.org as our story continues.