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EMPAC Video Archive

ART!??!!! A Discussion with EMPAC Director Johannes Goebel

April 11, 2018

An open conversation on the subject of art, jump-started by EMPAC Director Johannes Goebel.

Why is there art at all? Why should anyone care? Isn’t everything art and everyone an artist? What is the place of art in this society and at Rensselaer? What is EMPAC’s place in all this? Is art meant to speak to my heart or is it all just elitist stuff? Isn’t art about self-expression with all value in the eye of the beholder? But then what is the return on investment?

EMPAC at Rensselaer is a program and production space where art and science use the same infrastructure to create and explore human experiences. More than 200 new contemporary artistic projects have been developed at EMPAC, including over 100 new works commissioned by EMPAC that have gone on to be presented around the world at major festivals and with touring artists. Spanning the disciplines of film, dance, music, and theater, EMPAC creates “time-based” work that employs both the latest technology and traditional instruments and techniques to meet the human senses in the present moment. With EMPAC, Rensselaer has created a platform and a program that is known around the world for its advanced technological capabilities and adventurous programming. This conversation is an open invitation to discuss fundamental questions about art and its place in our lives and society.

The founding Director of EMPAC, Johannes Goebel has published and lectured internationally on the arts, science, engineering, technology, and aesthetics. He has participated in the integration of digital technology with contemporary artistic theory and practice over the past few decades.