Shifting forms... abandoning gravity

Friday November 2, 2012

TROY, N.Y. -- The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announces CLUSTER, a live generative audiovisual performance by Kurt Hentschläger. The event will happen in EMPAC's Concert Hall at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 3.

The next phase in Kurt Hentschläger's generative video and audio work, CLUSTER moves the focus to group behavior and interaction, particularly swarm phenomena. A simple, yet absurd setting is proposed--3D human characters turn into a school of fish. In the weightless choreography, human figures appear mostly as a pulsing, amorphous mass, a cloud of blurry matter from body parts and light. By its never fully predictable generative nature, CLUSTER describes a meta-organism with a decidedly anti-individualistic character.

The soundscapes in CLUSTER are rendered by the events driving the work -- swarm motion and behavior, as well as changes in light and color. A rhythmic grid bonds the individual parts together. CLUSTER goes through several stages, starting out from an abstract primordial "soup," and then building into a cloud of blurry semi-realistic matter -- body parts and light --t o eventually arrive at a clearly humanoid cluster, packed tightly, spinning and tumbling through space, bodies glued together by gravity and kinetic forces. Individual efforts to escape the "cloud" are attempted, but are futile.

Chicago-based Austrian artist Kurt Hentschläger creates audiovisual performances and installations. He began to exhibit his work in 1983, creating surreal machine-objects, and since has been working with time-based media, film, video, animation, and sound. Between 1992 and 2003 he worked collaboratively as one half of Granular-Synthesis, employing large-scale projected images and drone like soundscapes.

Select presentations include the Venice Biennale, the Venice Theater Biennale, National Art Museum of China (Beijing), PS1 (New York), Musée d'Art Contemporain de Montreal, Museum of Applied Arts (Vienna), National Museum for Contemporary Art (Seoul), ICC (Tokyo). In 2010, he received a Quartz Electronic Music Award.

Tickets are $18 general admission; $13 non-Rensselaer students, seniors, and Rensselaer faculty + staff; and $6 Rensselaer students (must provide ID for discounted tickets). Seating for this performance is very limited.

Evelyn's Café will open at 7 p.m. with a full menu of meals, snacks, and beverages as well as a selection of wines. Service continues after the performance. Parking is available in the Rensselaer parking lot on College Avenue.

More information can be found on the EMPAC website: Questions? Call the EMPAC Box Office: 518.276.3921.


The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), founded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is an international hub for art, performance, science, and technology -- offering adventurous interdisciplinary public events, support for artists and scholars engaged in creative research, and the resources of a state-of-the art facility for digital media production, research, and performance situated on a college campus.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute --

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is the nation's oldest technological university. The school offers degrees in engineering, the sciences, information technology, architecture, management, and the social sciences and humanities. For over 30 years, the Institute has been a leader in interdisciplinary creative research, especially in the electronic arts. In addition to its MFA and PhD programs in electronic arts, Rensselaer offers bachelor degrees in electronic arts, and in electronic media, arts, and communication -- one of the first undergraduate programs of its kind in the United States. The Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies and EMPAC are two major research platforms that Rensselaer established at the beginning of the 21st century.

EMPAC 2012-2013 presentations, residencies, and commissions are made possible by continuous support from the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts. Additional project support by the National Endowment for the Arts; the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts with lead funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; the New York State Council for the Arts; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation with support from the National Endowment for the Arts; Arts Council Norway, Fond for Lyd og Bilde, and Fond for Utøvende Kunstner.


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