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Opportunities: Call For Curator for Time-Based Visual Arts at EMPAC (NYState)

Opportunities: Call For Curator for Time-Based Visual Arts at EMPAC (NYState)

The Curtis R. Priem Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has an opening in the curatorial team for a curator with expertise in the area of time-based visual arts.

EMPAC goes beyond a traditional university performing arts center in that its events, performances and projects are only a part of its program, with residencies, commissions, and productions taking up most of the resources. Furthermore, the artistic program set forth by the curatorial team is focused on contemporary art, performance, and their intersections.

The curatorial team at EMPAC comprises four positions with curators for music, dance and theater, an assistant curator, and the open position for time-based visual arts. Curators have an in-depth expertise in their “native area”, at the same time the collaboration within the team makes the traditional boundaries permeable and allows for development of interdisciplinary projects as is the nature of “time-based arts,” especially when technology comes into play.

We are looking for a curator with experience at the intersection of contemporary art and contemporary technology; who can reflect on the relationship of tools, aesthetics, and artistic goals; who enjoys exploration and collaboration; who sees an audience as essential to the arts; who seeks the challenge to contribute to a contemporary art program at the oldest engineering school in the US; and who is driven by what the arts can offer beyond streamlined entertainment.

EMPAC has been established as a bridge between the world of digital technology and the world of human experience. The building, infrastructure and program create a unique position at the intersection of art, science and technology. EMPAC brings together a strong foundation in the time-based arts with science and engineering under one roof, forming the overall mission. EMPAC is built on the belief that arts, science and engineering have different goals, motives and methodologies, but that bringing them together can create new directions and perspectives, changing and benefitting everyone involved.

EMPAC is not an academic facility with classrooms and faculty but is a research and production center offering and supporting bridges between the arts and scientific research. All work is project based, including residencies in the arts, science and engineering, commissions, performances, symposia, workshops, conferences, and festivals, among others.


The curator develops, implements and manages specific programs for events, performances, installations, and conferences as well as their related and/or independent commissions and residencies as a member of the curatorial team and in collaboration with the director, production teams (stage, audio, video, IT) and the future director for research.

The curator will curate, produce, supervise, and manage projects from inception to completion, guiding projects from idea to collaborative realization with a staff of forty.

The curatorial process at EMPAC covers all areas of event production: analyzing context and coupling it to artistic work, negotiating contracts, budgeting, ensuring top level technical realization, developing PR strategies, etc.

The curator will monitor regional, national, and international developments under artistic and intellectual perspectives and establish and maintain contacts with artists, festivals, and institutions on regional, national, and international levels. The

POSITION OPENING: Full-Time Curator for Time-Based Visual Arts curator is also tasked with the development of programming strategies that engage the campus community of Rensselaer, and the region.


Applicants must possess curatorial and production experience on the national level, with international experience preferred. Qualified candidates will have a solid background in the time-based visual arts and ability to contextualize a project within art history. Candidate must have experience in project management of commissions and new productions, effective communication skills, and the capacity to manage multiple simultaneous projects. A bachelor’s degree is necessary, with a master’s degree preferred.

This is a full-time curatorial position and relocation to Troy, NY is required.


Open May 28, 2012 until filled. Please inquire via email to Johannes Goebel (, director of EMPAC with cc:

We welcome candidates who will bring diverse intellectual, geographical, gender and ethnic perspectives to Rensselaer’s work and campus communities. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

curtis r. priem experimental media
and performing arts center
rensselaer polytechnic institute
troy, ny 12180

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Caden Manson is Editor In Chief and Curator of Contemporary Performance Network and co-founder and artistic director of Big Art Group, a New York City performance company founded in 1999.
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