The Contemporary Austin Hosts Interactive Exhibit and a Show for 20th Annual Fusebox Festival
Apr 18, 2024

The Contemporary Austin Hosts Interactive Exhibit and a Show for 20th Annual Fusebox Festival

Reporting Texas TV

AUSTIN, Texas — To commemorate 20 years of Fusebox, The Contemporary Austin hosted a live performance alongside an interactive gallery experience featuring works by Fusebox artists on April 12 at The Jones Center.

Founded by a group of artists in 2005, Fusebox showcases local and international artists in several venues and spaces across the city. Spanning genres and generations, artists work with different mediums including film, music, dance and more.

(Haley Pacheco/Reporting Texas TV)

The exhibit functions like a record store of the 20 years of Fusebox, addressing the challenge of audiences interacting with short-lived, performance-based art by providing a tangible alternative. Visitors can browse through “records” which highlight previous festival performances and listen to interviews from with artists.

Public programs curator Emmy Laursen said the 2024 festival consists of more than 65 shows within the week-long festival.

“If you’re going to Fusebox, you have no idea what you’re getting into,” Laursen said. “You’re really putting your trust into the curation of the festival to just know that you’re going to enjoy it.”

(Haley Pacheco/Reporting Texas TV)

Pop-synth duo The Illustrious Blacks and singer Joseph Keckler performed on the rooftop of the museum. Though they represent contrasting performance styles, the mystery and distinct artistic displays draw in guests every year.

Keckler said community is what makes the festival special.

“It’s corny, and I’m resistant to saying it creates community, but there’s a real, strong core of the Austin community,” Keckler said. “The mission of the festival is to cross-pollinate different disciplines and garner support within Austin, and I think it achieves that mission beautifully.”

(Haley Pacheco/Reporting Texas TV)

Omar Saucedo first attended the festival more than 15 years ago during the early stages of dating his now-wife, and they now bring their daughter.

He said he enjoys performances that encourage thinking outside the box.

“It ensnares the senses with sounds, and I like trying new things. I enjoy bringing my daughter so she gets exposure to these type of performances, something that I didn’t have growing up,” Saucedo said.

Another returning visitor, Gene Vandiver, has attended shows with his wife for decades. He said as a 74-year-old who has lived in Austin for 40 years, he still feels energized by the city.

“I can go into an audience of young people and it’s not like, who’s the old guy,” Vandiver said. “I’m just one of them. It’s a very accepting community, and Fusebox works really well with that.”

(Haley Pacheco/Reporting Texas TV)

Laursen said Austin is what it is today because of festivals like Fusebox.

She said although Austin has moved away from a place where artists can afford to live and work, the festival promotes awareness and allows artists’ visions to come to life.

“I’ve seen people come to a Fusebox performance and not even know that it’s a Fusebox event. Even though the city is moving away from what it used to be, the festival is thriving. It’s bringing artists’ dreams to life,” Laursen said.

The museum exhibit is open to the public until July 21.