Friday, December 03, 2010

[HvEXAS] REMINDER: Sean Griffin: Cold Spring | 12/03+04 | EMPAC, Troy, NY

Here are some preview stories, with the first few including interviews with creator, cast, and collaborators:

Come early to check out the Uncertain Spectator exhibition + grab a snack from Evelyn's Café (managed by The Epicurean)!


(Please forward to any + all interested parties.)

Sean Griffin: Cold Spring
Friday + Saturday, December 3 + 4, 2010, 8 PM
EMPAC Theater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY

A battering ram for the stage that puts alien abductions, eugenics, snapshots of area theater productions, and roller girls through a kaleidoscopic operatic lens
featuring Curtain Call Theatre, Johnstown Little Theatre, and the Albany All Stars Roller Girls

On Friday and Saturday, December 3 and 4, 2010 at 8 PM in the Theater, the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY presents Cold Spring, a theatrical + musical performance created in residence by the Los Angeles-based composer Sean Griffin.

A diversity of musicians, actors, and dancers from all over the United States and Canada turn the EMPAC Theater into a high-energy collision of charged musical and theatrical particles and their underlying ideologies. 

Among these is the Eugenics Archive in Cold Spring Harbor NY. This archive represents the breeding-ground research for the eugenics-based social policies that resulted in mass sterilization of undesirables, forced lobotomies and, ultimately, with support from the Carnegie Foundation, Nazi Germany's master race policies.

In Cold Spring, materials from this archive intersect unexpectedly with the early 20th century spiritualism-meets-pop-supernaturalism of the 1970s. Through an operatic rendition of the 1961 Betty and Barney Hill alien abduction hypnosis tapes, we follow the embattled, mixed-race couple as they navigate social complications through the hyper-vigilant sanctimony of their pre-civil rights world.

Cold Spring is propelled by a collection of iconic musical and theatrical snap-shots, several performed by actors familiar to Capitol Region theater-goers. Ideas best forgotten and good intentions gone awry unfold onto one another, turning the theater into a crippled ceremonious procession.

Funded in part through Meet The Composer's MetLife Creative Connections program.

Sean Griffin lives and works in Los Angeles. 

Encompassing many languages, styles, media and forms, Griffin's unusual compositional works rely on interdisciplinary incongruities positioned at the intersection of sound, image, performance, and the archive.
Manifesting as large and small-scale operatic works, collaborative sound and video installations, complex numeric choreographies, or historically weighted political works that defy categorization, Griffin's works obsessively instrumentalize embedded cultures of injustice, racism, and wars of the recent past disturbingly mixed with dated-pop fantasies about self worth and class. Animated by rhythmic regimentation and improvisation, his compositions can be viewed as platforms for the performer's unique talents with whom he collaborates extensively.

Griffin frequently collaborates with Catherine Sullivan, Juliana Snapper, Charles Gaines and Aiyun Huang. His works have been presented internationally at venues including Los Angeles' REDCAT, Armand Hammer Museum, and LACMA, June in Buffalo, Berlin's Volksbühne, Secession Vienna, London's Royal Academy and the Tate Modern, Festival d'Avignon, Taipei City Arts Festival, Walker Art Center, Centre Pompidou, and Festival BOM 2010 in Seoul, Korea. He recieved an MFA from CalArts and a Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego.


Tickets are required for this event and available through the EMPAC box office for $15 general admission; $10 for students, seniors, and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute faculty and staff; or $5 for Rensselaer students. 

Parking for this event is available in the Rensselaer parking lot on College Avenue. Evelyn's Café will be open before the performance for all your culinary needs.

Additional event 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.

EMPAC's building is a showcase work of architecture that spans the physical and digital worlds. With a 1,200-seat concert hall, a 400-seat theater, two flexible black box studios, audio and video production rooms, and residency studios, EMPAC is a unique environment where digital technology and human experience can meet.

EMPAC 2010-2011 presentations, residencies, and commissions are supported by grants from 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; additional funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, and the Boeing Company Charitable Trust), and the New York State Council for the Arts. Special thanks to the Jaffe Fund for Experimental Media and Performing Arts for support of artist commissions.

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.


The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 

110 8th Street 

Troy, NY 12180
Box Office: 518.276.3921

No comments: