2016S_ART_X / PIP Studio_Krueger Studio



On May 17th 2016 in EMPAC’s Goodman Studio an evocative multi-media black box theatre work was presented that engaged the poetics of night. Ninety-two abstract architectural models interact on a luminous glass-surfaced interface-table to produce a computer-generated visual and sonic environment in seven movements to the live accompaniment by ten improvisational musicians. The audience freely interacts with the objects and thereby participates in the production of the performance while experiencing it. The purpose-built technical system supporting the performance tracks the presence, location, orientation and movement of the objects producing four large-scale projections as well as musical scores that move in the space with the movement of objects. Spoken poetic texts related to the theme of night are enfolded into the performance.

The work is highly interdisciplinary involving students from architecture humanities, science, and engineering over the course of a year.

This project is sponsored by the Chris ’49 and Marcia Paris Jaffe Program in Art, Music and Architecture as one of a long series of interdisciplinary works sponsored by Jafffe family for over two decades. The Production, Installation and Performance (PIP) projects link architecture faculty and students to Arts faculty and students to produce a new performance in collaboration with an invited visiting artist. This year, Bill Seaman, media artist and Professor at Duke University collaborated with Architecture professor Ted Krueger and Distinguished Research Professor of Music Pauline Oliveros and their students. In addition, Prof Jonas Braasch, an architectural acoustician, and Director of Renselaer’s Center for Cognition, Communication and Culture and Jim Heldler, Tetherless World Senior Constellation Professor of Computer and Cognitive Science, Head of the Computer Science Department, participated as consulting scientists.

The confluence of science, art, and design in this project illustrates well, the Art_X@Rensselaer initiative that links projects across disciplines as part of the vision for a New Polytechnic. The project was prototyped at the CRAIVE lab, a NSF-funded research facility specializing in collaborative work within highly mediated environments, and presented at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center that also supported the project by providing space, equipment, and expertise.



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Evan Douglis, Professor


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