EMPAC Releases full Event Details for landmark Shifting Center exhibition, on view October 27-29 and November 3-18

Newly added, must-see closing performance CONDICIÓN_1023 by Hugo Esquinca amplifies the building from within, utilizing every venue and public space as a source of sound.

October 17, 2023


EMPAC, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic University, releases complete event info for its buildingwide Shifting Center exhibition, previewed in June and announced in September 2023. Public receptions in Kingston and Troy, the Hudson River itinerary and recommended viewing locations for Ilopango, the Volcano that Left, exhibition tours with the curators, and more, invite audiences to experience sound, sculpture, and moving-image artworks from internationally significant artists throughout the center October 27-29 and November 3-18.

Drawing its title from a term in the field of acoustics that describes the perceived dislocation in the position of a sound source, Shifting Center stages processes of listening. The exhibition poses sculpture as time-based and presents it with moving-image and spatial-audio installations across the concert hall, proscenium stage, and studios at EMPAC, a 220,000-square foot building that includes many firsts in fields of acoustics, performing arts infrastructure, and architectural engineering.

With contributions by Julian Abraham “Togar”, Tania Candiani, Padmini Chettur & Maarten Visser, Beatriz Cortez, Guillermo Escalón & Igor de Gandarias, Hugo Esquinca, Maurice Louca, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Nancy Mounir, Gala Porras-Kim, Micah Silver, and Clarissa Tossin & Michelle Agnes Magalhães, Shifting Center reaches across disciplinary boundaries of the visual and performing arts. It engages earlier experiments of deep listening and psychoacoustics by Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016) and Maryanne Amacher (1932-2016) at EMPAC through new works that approach the building as an instrument in itself. 

Prior to the exhibition opening, Beatriz Cortez’s sculpture Ilopango, the Volcano that Left travels the Hudson River by boat, from Storm King Art Center to Troy’s Federal Lock and Dam. As the volcano sails upriver, the public will be able to witness the sculpture from various viewing points along both shores. Visitors are also invited to view the work when it rests for the night at the Maritime Museum in Kingston, and to gather in welcoming the volcano as it passes through the Federal Lock and Dam near The Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy. Presented in partnership with Storm King Art Center and the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School, the journey will be broadcast live by the presenting partners throughout October 27–29.

In a newly added event to mark the end of Shifting Center, artist Hugo Esquinca saturates the entire EMPAC building with sound in a performance of his EMPAC commissioned work CONDICIÓN_1023 on November 18. During the run of the exhibition, CONDICIÓN_1023 can only be experienced through the center’s exterior. In contrast, for Esquinca’s extraordinary closing night performance, the audience is invited inside the building to encounter the work unfold from within the center’s signature glass skin.

Listings Info

Shifting Center
Curated by Vic Brooks and Nida Ghouse
October 27 – November 18, 2023

Exhibition on view
November 4-18*
Tuesday–Saturday 11AM–5PM
*Saturday, November 11, 5PM-10PM
Free, reservations not required

Opening reception
Friday, November 3, 6PM-10PM
RSVP to https://webforms.rpi.edu/rsvp-shifting-center-exhibition-events

Closing performance
Hugo Esquinca
Saturday, November 18, 6PM
Free, RSVP to https://webforms.rpi.edu/rsvp-shifting-center-exhibition-events

Exhibition Tours with the Curators
November 4, 11AM
November 11, 5PM
November 18, 11AM
Free, reservations not required

Beatriz Cortez, Ilopango, the Volcano that Left
October 27–29
Free, reservations not required
Itinerary and viewing locations on embeddable google map
Available at https://empac.rpi.edu/events/2023/ilopango-volcano-left
October 27 & 29 at https://empac.rpi.edu/events/2023/ilopango-volcano-left
Free, registration not required

Reception: Welcoming Ilopango to Kingston
Friday, October 27, 5PM at Hudson River Maritime Museum, Kingston
Free with museum entry, RSVP to https://webforms.rpi.edu/rsvp-shifting-center-exhibition-events

Reception: Welcoming Ilopango to Troy
Sunday, October 29, 3PM at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, Troy
Free, RSVP to https://webforms.rpi.edu/rsvp-shifting-center-exhibition-events

Press photos available for download.

Special Thanks

Shifting Center is made possible with major support from Teiger Foundation, with a Curatorial Research Fellowship from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, with project support by the Simons Foundation, with support also from New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, and with support in part by National Endowment for the Arts. The journey of Ilopango, the Volcano that Left is presented in partnership with Storm King Art Center and Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

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