Now in its 15th year, Austin’s Fusebox Festival is a success born of being the right arts thing at the right time in the right burgeoning city. As arts audiences’ taste turned to favor the festival model, and personal live experiences gained new currency, the rapidly growing Austin arterati developed an insatiable appetite for new kinds of aesthetic experiences. Enter an annual spring fest of performance-based art.
Fusebox is free to attend, though reservations are needed for much of its offerings. And with many of the ticketed performances presented, by design, to smallish audiences, the first round of tickets released was snatched up within a couple days of fest’s line-up announcement a couple of weeks ago.
Fusebox representatives have said that another round of tickets will release April 1 or 2. Also, there are always some tickets set aside for walk-ups for each show with lines forming 30 minutes before curtain time.
But some of the most intriguing Fusebox offerings you can see sans reservations.
Every night of the fest features the admission-free pop-up club/alt cabaret show starting at 9 p.m. at the Festival Hub on East Fourth Street, with bands like the Octopus Project, Golden Dawn Arkestra and Botany, along with a line-up of performance artists, DJ’s, a cash bar and food trucks. The hyper popular hub nights this year will feature a piñata-inspired installation by Justin Favela and site-specific painting by New York-based former Austinite Nathan Randall Green.
Roberto Harrington Jackson will be popping up around the fest with his delightful Museum of Pocket Art, a traveling palm-sized “museum” in which Jackson creates wondrous tiny distillations of art.
At Co-Lab Projects, Sean Ripple offers a critique of our late-stage capitalist era with some 200 sixty-second video collages that use the visual language of advertising but are intriguingly made with intentionally awkward production aesthetics.
Alyssa Taylor Wendt and Kate Csillagi pair up for collaborative project at ICOSA Gallery in the Canopy complex at 916 Springdale Road. Also at Canopy, Big Medium hosts an exhibit of Nathan Russell Green and Big Medium’s in studio 101 there’s smart tech-fused installation by Monterrey, Mexico artists Blasto and Ernesto Walker.
“Sound in Sculpture” showcases original music composed and performed by University of Texas students inspired by José Parlá’s enormous mural Amistad América.”
Black Mountain Project is a new collaboration of Austin artists Adrian Aguilera, Betelhem Makonnen and Tammie Rubin and they’re staging an exhibition, “Constant Escape,” at the Carver Museum. While each works in different media, the trio shares a curiosity for resisting absolute definitions of culture and identity.
And on the last day of the fest, “Rainforest Reverb” takes over a state parking garage on San Jacinto Blvd. and E. 14th St. on Sunday, April 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. Rolling Ryot — an Austin sound art collective — will create a multi-channel sonic environment with speakers arranged throughout the five-story parking garage that present audio compositions which creatively interpret the sonic structure of a rainforest.