TROY, NY — To kick off the summer season at the Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, electronic musician Elysia Crampton will perform on Friday, May 26, at 9PM. Russell E.L. Butler will support.
A force within Latinx culture and the rising genderqueer electronic aesthetic (alongside Arca, Lotic, Rabit, etc.), Elysia Crampton has described her style as “severo,” a word suggestive of the raw textures and violent juxtapositions she creates with source material ranging from American pop to cumbia, hip-hop, ratchet, and South American metal. A descendent of the Aymara people indigenous to Bolivia, Crampton made waves with last year’s Elysia Crampton Presents: Demon City. A sister piece to the theatrical production Dissolution of the Sovereign: A Timeslide into the Future, the album was written in the style of an epic poem, taking inspiration from the story of the Aymara revolutionary Bartolina Sisa, whose severed limbs were paraded through the Andes after her execution at the hands of Spanish colonists.
Conjuring history, myth, and dream while deftly collaging the sonic trappings of a world in flux, Crampton’s compositions are ranging emotional narratives that seek reconstitution and sovereignty.
Opening the show will be Oakland-based synth artist and techno producer Russell E.L. Butler. Exploring themes of transplantation, evolution, and healing, Butler dedicated their recent EP I’m Dropping Out of Life to the “black, brown, trans, queer, and gay folks of Oakland,” especially those who tragically died in the December Ghost Ship art collective fire.
EMPAC Summer 2017 events are presented as part of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Summer Arch a semester linking the sophomore and junior year, allowing students to pursue professional and personal development opportunities that prepare them to meet the multifaceted challenges of the 21st century. All events are open to the public.
The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is where the arts, sciences, and technology interact with and influence each other by using the same facilities and technologies, and by breathing the same air. EMPAC hosts artists and researchers to produce and present new work in a building designed with sophisticated architectural and technical infrastructure. Four exceptional venues and studios enable audiences, artists, and researchers to inquire, experiment, develop, and experience the ever-changing relationship between ourselves, technology, and the worlds we create around us. EMPAC is an icon of the New Polytechnic, a new paradigm for cross-disciplinary research and learning at Rensselaer, the nation’s oldest technological research university.