Mini-Juice at IMRC dedication Jan. 9

Dec 30, 2013
In November, the University of New Hampshire Department of Theatre and Dance and the University of Maine Intermedia MFA Program premiered "eSTRANGED," a play performed simultaneously in Durham, N.H., and Orono using video simulcast and other technologies.

Orono — University of Maine will celebrate the opening of its new Innovative Media Research and Commercialization Center Thursday, Jan. 9. In partnership with the Juice Conference, Midcoast Magnet, Belfast Creative Coalition, and Realize!Maine, the celebrations will begin with IMRC (Immerse) Maine: Celebrating Creative Innovation, a mini-Juice Conference that will offer participants an exciting look at the new IMRC facility’s possibilities through speakers, seminars and tours.

The IMRC Center is more than 15,000 square feet and consists of intermedia graduate research labs, two computer/technology classrooms, an electronics lab, a prototyping lab, CNC lab, fabrication lab, seminar room and distance classroom node, visiting researcher lab/studio, audio recording studio, video editing suites, electronic and experimental music studio, adaptive presentation environment, sound stage, film and video production studio, 3D and immersive visualization presentation environment and an outdoor performance space and film presentation stage.

The Jan. 9 event is the first time Juice has gone on the road and out of the Midcoast. Juice Conference connects leaders of the creative economy to foster growth and prosperity. Weaving together the arts, technology and entrepreneurship, Juice inspires innovation by bringing talented people together from widely different backgrounds to learn, exchange ideas and share success stories.

The IMRC Maine event will open with a performance not possible in most facilities. “eSTRANGED,” written and directed by N.B. Aldrich and David Kaye, is a telematic, multimedia performance piece based on Albert Camus' seminal existential novel “L'Étranger.” This performance of the first telematic — involving the transmission of information over a big distance — production in Maine, creates a performance that exists in both the physical and virtual realms, providing an opportunity to examine the possibilities and contradictions in these two modes of social presence. The piece is based on the premise that people currently exist in two forms, a "real self" with our actual physical and geographical limitations and predispositions; and a media-produced and publicly broadcast "virtual self."

Following that performance, the event will move ahead into presentations by keynote speaker John Bielenberg, as well as other speakers. Bielenberg of Belfast is a designer, entrepreneur and imaginative advocate for a better world. He is the founder of Project M and co-founder of Future and Common. In addition to Bielenberg, the creative team of Abby Stiers and Alexander Gross will present their work on the Maine Arts Commission Percent for Art installation for the IMRC building. This data-driven interactive work, being produced in collaboration with sculptor Isabelle Pellisier, is a first for Maine and highlights the possibilities of New Media-based art.

Participants also will have the opportunity to become familiar with the state-of-the-art facilities through seminars and tours. Two seminars will be available to attendees: the What’s Possible Tour, which will introduce attendees to individuals who have used the facility for prototype and media development as well as an overview of the ideals behind maker-spaces; and Diving Deeper: Prototyping Specifics, which will provide an opportunity to take a more detailed look at the available prototyping equipment such as 3D printing and media production. The day also will include tours of the entire facility for all participants.

The schedule for the day will be as follows: noon, conference attendee check-in begins; 1 to 4:30 p.m., the IMRC (Immerse) Maine: Celebrating Creative Innovation Conference; and 5 to 7 p.m., dedication and opening ceremony with University of Maine President Paul W. Ferguson.

Conference cost is $30, and online registration and payment are available. Space is limited for this event, so register online early to save a place; visit The dedication and opening ceremony has no cost to participants and invitees.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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