The New York State DanceForce Member Search Committee has just concluded a four-month long statewide search for new members. Those selected will officially become new members on July 1, 2023 and will design their first projects to occur during the July 2024 to June 2025 project cycle.

EMPAC/ the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer received a $75,000 grant from Teiger Foundation for the exhibition Shifting Center (October 28–November 19, 2023), which is curated by Vic Brooks, Associate Director and Senior Curator of Time-Based Visual Art, and Nida Ghouse, Curator-in-Residence. EMPAC is among 39 curators and curatorial teams throughout the U.S. to receive a grant through the Foundation’s Call for Proposals, the first initiative of its kind to address the full spectrum of curatorial activities, from community integration of traveling exhibitions, to research and the development of major exhibitions.

Watch Live, Mar 4, 2023.

Troy, NY–On November 22, industry leader and global influencer Film Independent announced that Martine Syms, Rocket Caleshu, and Vic Brooks have been nominated for the John Cassavetes Award for The African Desperate by the 2023 Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Johannes Goebel, a champion of computer music in Germany who was hired at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2001 as a consultant on what was described as the world's first university-based center for technology and the arts before being named its founding director the following year, is retiring in November.

Martine Syms’s debut feature derives its title from a Freudian slip. In the opening scene, as Palace (Diamond Stingily), a sculptor at an upstate New York art school, describes her thesis project to an all-white faculty panel, she mispronounces “African diaspora” as “African desperate.”

EMPAC is one of the largest employers of students on the Rensselaer campus and uses an “apprenticeship model” to train student workers. We currently have approximately 52 students working in a variety of positions across the box office, front-of-house, production (audio, video, stage, IT), curatorial, design, web, marketing, research, and administrative teams.

Troy, NY—On July 1, 2022, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute announced a new programmatic structure to expand the center’s long term commitment to the intersection of arts and research.

EMPAC names two new positions, Jonas Braasch to the position of Associate Director of Research and Vic Brooks to the position of Associate Director of Arts. Additionally, EMPAC announces the hiring of Amadeus Regucera as Curator of Music and the promotion of Ashley Ferro-Murray to Senior Curator of Dance and Theater.

Troy NY—On July 1, 2022, EMPAC announced two Associate Director appointments to expand the center’s longtime commitment to the intersection of arts and research. These new appointments allow for the wide range of activities – including research and production residencies in arts, science, and engineering, workshops, presentations, and campus-wide events – to continue to fulfill and expand EMPAC’s mission as a major platform for arts and technology on the Rensselaer campus.

As part of the development of a “digital time-capsule”, a video capture of the CD-ROM makes the content fully accessible and allows to understand the design and interaction of the original media.


The in-person premiere of Martine Syms’, The African Desperate, is premiering as the closing night film of MoMA and Lincoln Center’s New Directors New Films festival, with a Q&A with Martine Syms on April 30!

Congratulations to 2020 EMPAC Artists in Residence Cannupa Hanska Luger, Anna Craycroft, and Patricia Alessandrini on their 2022 Guggenheim Fellowships!

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute seeks a curator with expertise in the area of music to join the curatorial team. EMPAC’s curators work within the context of contemporary production and performance practices, which include the integration of digital technology.