Local, national and global visionary artists are back for Fusebox Festival —
November 23, 2017

Local, national and global visionary artists are back for Fusebox Festival

By Lesly Reynaga

Fusebox Festival artist Selina Thompson

Returning for its 13th year on April 12-16, Fusebox Festival is a hybrid arts festival that champions adventurous works of art in theater, dance, film, music, literature, visual and culinary arts. The 2017 festival takes place over 5 action-packed days in dozens of venues and locations all over the city.

Hundreds of local, national and international artists in all disciplines converge for one of the most unique cultural events in the country that reaches over 20,000 people annually. This year’s festival includes  large concerts for thousands of people in traditional venues such as The Long Center and the Paramount, as well as smaller, more intimate experiences in clubs and galleries, all completely free to attend.

Its distinctive late-night hub that acts as the heart and soul of the festival for artists, crew members and fest-goers get to hangout and connect  is back at Saengerrunde Halle with a brand new approach.

“There are a couple of new wrinkles this year, one of which is branding the festival social hub with its own identity– Al Volta’s Midnight Bar,” Fusebox’s Managing Director Brad Carlin said. “We are drawing an inspiration from the worlds of science and electricity to design a pop-up bar with highly curated food, drinks and performances (with nightly surprises) that will appeal to broader audiences outside of our typical festival community.”

And speaking of its global approach, Fusebox aims to connect Austin with the world by bringing emerging and established artists from countries such as Australia, Korea, Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Peru, the UK, Nigeria and other far-away places. This creates opportunities for local artists to showcase their work to audiences from all over the country and world.

This year, multi-award winning Australian dancer and choreographer Antony Hamilton will bring his critically acclaimed performances to Austin. Involving a sophisticated melding of movement, sound and visual design, and traverse subject matter from formal physical study to the world of the fantastic, Antony’s works are regularly presented across Europe, Australia and Asia.

Photograph by Jisun Kim

All the way from Korea, Jisun Kim is an artist with a background and degree in Time Art. Her body of work explores her interests in social systems, cultures, and “no man’s land” (multi-layered spaces created between laws, norms, borders of physical lands, marginalized spaces in existing and online worlds). When the most solid-looking, well-established systems meet, it can produce a peculiar hole. Her work attempts to reveal these holes within the system and live inside them.

Sherwin Sullivan Tjia is a multidisciplinary artist from Canada whose practice blurs the boundaries between performer and audience. Incorporating elements of childhood and nostalgia, Tjia’s events create contexts that welcome participants to open and unsettle themselves, often in acts of radical intimacy or unexpected collaboration.

Based in Monterrey, Mexico, Ernesto Walker is an artist whose work is characterized by the exploration of chance and abstraction as a way to encode and visually translate the reality around us, looking for links between what is accidental and what becomes meaningful.

Also from Mexico, Lagartijas Tiradas Al Sol is a community of Mexican artists making projects that link work and life and erase borders. Founded in 2003 by Luisa Pardo and Gabino Rodriguez, it seeks to clarify and articulate, but also to disrupt and unravel notions of biography, document, and history.

Fusebox Festival
Irvin Morazan

Irvin Morazan ​is a multidisciplinary artist born in El Salvador who moved to the New York area in the 1980’s as part of the Salvadoran civil war diaspora. Morazan utilizes performance, sculpture and video to explore fictional and autobiographical rituals that are sparked by current events, migration, ancient medicine, indigenous cultures and his autobiography.

Born in Lima, Peru and based in New York City, Maria Chávez is best known as an abstract turntablist, sound artist and DJ. She was thought to be deaf until the age of three when her family came to Austin and doctors at The University of Texas removed the water from her ears, allowing her to hear her first sounds. Accidents, coincidence, and failures are themes that unite her sound sculptures, installations and other works with her improvised solo turntable performance practice.

Selina Thompson is an artist and performer based in Birmingham, UK. She writes and makes performance and installation about identity, how it shapes our lives, politics and environments, and its relationship to freedom. In the past few years she has built dresses out of cake, giant ‘tumbleweaves’ out of hair extensions, and retraced the Transatlantic Slave route via cargo freighter.

Fusebox Festival
Artwork by Wura-Natasha Ogunji

Wura-Natasha Ogunji is a visual artist and performer, with works in the forms of drawings, videos and public performances. Her most recent creative investigations focus on the presence of women in public space in Lagos, Nigeria.

Local acts will include all_caps, an artist collective comprised primarily of students from The University of Texas; line upon line percussion, a trio that employs percussion for fervent, communal experiences they believe are essential for human beings to thrive; Christine Gwillim, an interdisciplinary artist, curator, and PhD student at UT whose doctoral research focuses on the sonic affects of reproductive rights activism and lawmaking in Texas; and Exploded Drawing, an organization whose aim is to elevate the electronic music community in Texas by encouraging creativity and stimulating conversation among electronic artists and listeners.

For free reservations and more information about the full Fusebox Festival line-up visit www.fuseboxfestival.com.

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