An Innovative Performance Powered By The Sun

We are endlessly fascinated with eco-friendly innovation and artistic creativity. When these things come together, it’s pretty much like catnip to us. That’s why we were incredibly excited by an extremely unusual collision of the arts with a sustainable twist that took place yesterday on the rooftop of a Palm Avenue parking garage in downtown Sarasota. Image Source: The story begins with Craig Colorusso, an artist whose pieces are heavily influenced by his background as a musician. For over a decade he has explored the intersection of sound, light, and space through sculptural installations crafted from wood, metal, fabric, and even electronics. His most recent work, “Sun Boxes” is an installation that essentially allows sunlight to become music. Image Source: The work consists of twenty solar-powered boxes equipped with circuit boards and speakers that emanate pre-recorded guitar loops whenever they are exposed to sunlight. Each loop varies in length, making it so that once the boxes are set up, the music continually overlaps without repetition. Because they are solar-powered, the boxes won’t stop making music if the clouds roll in as long as they have time to charge up: however, the volume may vary depending on the brightness of the sun. Art Center Sarasota collaborated with the City of Sarasota and Sarasota County to bring the boxes to a series of local outdoor venues. Last night was their first local appearance, and they will appear in several other area locations today and tomorrow. They’ll also return from January 1st through the third, so you will have several opportunities to check out this quirky migratory installation for yourself. Image Source: The Sun Boxes on their own are a super cool concept, and one that we were really excited about. We were enthralled by the thought of a functional piece of sustainable technology like a solar panel being used to create art and music. But when the Sun Boxes made their local debut yesterday, something happened that took the experience to a whole new level. Late yesterday afternoon, five members of Fuzión Dance Artists, a local contemporary dance company, were scheduled to perform wholly improvisational dances inspired in the moment by the sounds produced by the Sun Boxes. Unfortunately, a strong wind and impenetrable cloud cover silenced the boxes. But the dancers went on to perform anyway, even without music for inspiration. Though they seemed hesitant at first, they soon became more confident and unified. Between their lithe movements, and the noisy wind that echoed around the rooftop an entirely different kind of music was created. Image Source: The Sun Boxes will be appearing throughout the Sarasota area for the next few days, and will return again in January: you can find a more comprehensive schedule here. You can see Fuzión Dance Artists perform next at the Jane B. Cook Theater at the FSU center for the Performing Arts in Sarasota next month: their shows on December 7 and 8, 2013 will feature work by both seasoned and novice choreographers, and will also feature a piece incorporating dancers with Parkinson’s Disease choreographed by the company’s artistic director. To learn more and purchase tickets for upcoming shows, you can visit their website.