America's foremost experimenter Laurie Anderson has been named by EMPAC at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as its inaugural distinguished artist-in-residence, for a three-year term, beginning in 2012.

A persistent experimenter at the intersection of performance, media, and technology; and an inventor of tools and instruments, Anderson and EMPAC's exceptional research and production environment for adventurous new work are an ideal match. The residency provides Anderson with wide access to space, technology, and support for creative experimentation, but as important, brings the artist into ongoing dialogue with students and faculty at Rensselaer.

Anderson first came to EMPAC as a resident artist in 2010 to complete work on Delusion, a complex series of stories about longing, memory, and identity commissioned by the Vancouver 2010 Cultural Olympiad. At EMPAC, she found the ideal working environment to try new ideas and integrate the diverse, multidisciplinary elements of the work, including music, visuals, altered voices, and electronic puppetry. Based on the success of the extensive working relationship between Anderson and EMPAC, Time-Based Arts Curator Kathleen Forde and Director Johannes Goebel proposed this new opportunity. "It's such a great honor to be the first EMPAC distinguished artist-in-residence. Working with the crack technical and production teams and having access to EMPAC's spectacular spaces and resources is such a dream. I'm incredibly grateful for this opportunity."

The distinguished artist-in-residence is an expansion of EMPAC's extensive residency program supporting the creation of new works and research. It marks the first time an artist has been invited for an extended time unrelated to a specific project, with the express goal of sharing the artist's creative practice with a technology-focused campus and the community through lectures, work-in-progress demonstrations, workshops, and more.

Since 2005, EMPAC has provided residences to more than 100 projects with over 400 participating artists, both established and emerging, creating ambitious experimental, time-based work that crosses artistic disciplines and often intersects with the sciences and humanities. Resident artists benefit from advanced facilities; experts in audio, video, IT, and stage technologies; and opportunities for collaboration with Rensselaer's faculty and researchers. Past resident artists have included the Wooster Group, Brent Green, Graham Parker, Ensemble Signal, Wayne McGregor/Random Dance, The OpenEnded Group, Sean Griffin, International Contemporary Ensemble, Anti VJ, Jennifer Tipton, and MaryAnne Amacher, among others.

About Laurie Anderson
One of America's most renowned performance artists, Laurie Anderson's genre-crossing work encompasses performance, film, music, installation, writing, photography, and sculpture. She is widely known for her multimedia presentations and musical recordings and has numerous major works to her credit. She has had countless collaborations with an array of artists, from Jonathan Demme and Brian Eno to Bill T. Jones and Peter Gabriel.

Anderson has invented several technological devices for use in her recordings and performance art shows, including voice filters, a tape-bow violin, and a talking stick. In 2002, she was appointed NASA's first artist-in-residence, and she was also part of the team that created the opening ceremony for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. She has published six books, produced numerous videos, films, radio pieces, and original scores for dance and film. In 2007, she received the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for outstanding contribution to the arts. She lives in New York City.

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC), founded by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, 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.

EMPAC (Curtis R. Priem Experimental 
Media and Performing Arts Center)

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180

Image: Laurie Anderson, Delusion; courtesy the artist

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