Each year Rochester’s ImageMovementSound Festival – IMS – consistently shows a fresh and distinctive face that reflects the diversity of artists and genres represented amongst their interdisciplinary multimedia collaborators. The festival debuted in Kilbourn Hall in the late 1990’s as a collaboration between the Eastman Computer Music Center and the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Film and Animation. Soon after, the Department of Dance at SUNY Brockport joined the festival.

This year, IMS has expanded even further to include 38 artists and performers from seven schools in the Rochester area including RIT, SUNY Brockport, SUNY Geneseo, Nazareth College and the Visual Studies Workshop.

The goal of the IMS Festival is to engage the artistic and civic communities through the creation and presentation of live multi-media performances that explore all aspects in sound, imagery, movement and staging. The festival brings together diverse artists and broad community constituencies in an annual celebration of the creative artistic process.

Each year, many new artists join the festival and many veterans return. Some artists have worked together for years and for others this is their first project together. The mixture of returning and new artists allows for a wide spectrum of perspectives within the works presented.

Of the two veterans are W. Michelle Harris and Elouise Oyzon from RIT, who joined Juanita Suarez, Jocelyn MacIntosh and sound artist Greg Ketchum of SUNY Brockport for a project entitled “WOMAN HANGING ON.” Their seven-minute piece focuses on an article of clothing that takes center stage amid ghost images of its life in other environments. What happens when the woman behind the paper cut out reveals herself? She shows that clothes do not make a woman.

This year’s works ranges from screen dances to large-scale live performances and from performance art to films of abstract animation. Artists met in the fall to share their work. Connections were made that eventually led to the collaborations that form this year’s festival.

Missy Pfohl-Smith, a choreographer from SUNY Brockport describes her experience with IMS. “This is my second year participating in IMS. Collaborating with other artists is an amazing experience,” she said. “We’ve really influenced each other’s processes. For instance the urgency of the music has affected the way I put the choreography together and the way the dancers approach and perform the movement.”

This year there will be two performances of the IMS Festival. The first takes place at 7 p.m. in Ingle Auditorium in the Student Alumni Union Building of RIT on Sunday, April 2. The second is on Saturday, April 22 at 8 p.m. in the Visual Studies Workshop Auditorium on Prince Street.

Aresty can be reached at aaresty@campustimes.org.



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