The Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts at Texas A&M University opened its 2019-2020 season Monday with an original art installation that asks if future buildings can think and feel.
The four live performances of the season begin Oct. 3 with The Art of Luv (Part 6: Awesome Grotto!) in Rudder Auditorium.
The Work of the Living Architecture Systems Group will be on exhibit through Sept. 30 in the J. Wayne Stark Galleries in the Memorial Student Center at A&M. The galleries are open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and noon to 6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It is closed on Mondays. Admission is free.
A release by the Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts says: “Researchers from the group are exploring these questions by designing new prototypes of experimental architecture. These extremely lightweight, flexible structures are interwoven with miniature computers controlling mechanisms that can sense, explore, and learn from viewers.
“The work is organized the same as a coral reef or a swarm of insects, with large numbers of many individual parts. These systems are connected together, passing signals back and forth so that the entire environment works as a whole. Interconnected vessels contain a liquid synthetic biology that can absorb and exchange materials from the atmosphere.”
Toronto architect Philip Beesley works with the Living Architecture Systems Group, the School of Architecture and the engineering faculty at the University of Waterloo, as well as the architecture firm Pucher Seifert and the Riverside Architectural Press to unite design with the latest technology in projects small and large. According to its website, Beesley’s firm specializes in the design of public buildings, public art and experimental installations.
The five performances on the schedule are:
• Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble, Oct. 3, Rudder Auditorium, 7 p.m. — Like the installation exhibit at the Stark Galleries, ROKE — the Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble — utilizes technology in the form of digital screens tapped into global networks. On its website, ROKE describes itself as “a musical priesthood that explores the metaphysics and mythologies of love, desire, and courtship at the end of the 20th century.”
ROKE combines installation art, ritual, opera, movement and theater to create unique experiences for audiences in intimate settings.
• The United States Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus, Nov. 1, Rudder Auditorium, 7 p.m. — The 60-member concert band and 29-member chorus are the oldest and largest of the U.S. Army Field Band’s performing components, according the academy’s release. The combined group performs everything from orchestral masterworks and operatic arias to Sousa marches, jazz classics and Broadway musicals.
• The Fisher Ensemble presents The Passion of Saint Thomas More, Feb. 6, St. Thomas Episcopal Church in College Station, 7 p.m. — Under the guidance of Artistic Director Garrett Fisher, the ensemble combines “diverse influences into a unique sound,” according to the academy.
“The ensemble’s works invite audiences to re-imagine the contemporary world through lenses of myth and history.”
• SHE, A Choreoplay, March 26, Rudder Auditorium, 7 p.m. — Dancer-choreographer-playwright Jinah Parker has combined dance, music, film and dialog for his production, which the academy describes as “The Vagina Monologues meets For Colored Girls.
“SHE is about sexual violence against women and girls, it is about what happens to women like Sandra Bland, it is about all women and girls, and it is about empowerment and healing. It is about our mothers, grandmothers, daughters, sisters.”
Except for the United States Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus — which is free — tickets for the Academy for the Visual & Performing Arts productions are $5 for students and $7 for the general public, available at the MSC Box Office on the first floor of Rudder Auditorium, 979-845-1234 or boxoffice.tamu.edu.