College of Fine Arts, School of Art, School of Theatre, Film & Television

The University of Arizona Wonder House returns to Austin, Texas, March 11-14 for the 2023 South by Southwest Conference and Festivals, offering four days of speakers, music and immersive experiences.

The Wonder House made its debut at last year’s SXSW, with researcher talks about edible insects, ways to de-stress your environment and how to gather dust from the early solar system. Other experiences last year included 360-degree virtual reality short films and multimedia art installations.

>> Arizona Arts art SXSw 2022, a look back

This year, the Wonder House will take over Café Blue Downtown Austin, roughly a block away from last year’s location and within walking distance of the Austin Convention Center, where the main festival is held.

  • What: The University of Arizona will return to the annual South by Southwest Conference and Festivals for four days of speakers, music and immersive experiences at the Wonder House.
  • When: March 11-14, noon to midnight each day
  • Where: Café Blue Downtown Austin, 340 E. Second St., Austin, Texas
  • Schedule: A full list of speakers and a schedule of events and entertainment are available on the university’s SXSW website

“I’m excited to see that we are investing in SXSW again, as it is an excellent platform for our thought leaders,” said Misha Harrison, executive director of experience in Marketing and Brand Management. “We have a strong showing this year with faculty speakers from several colleges focused on big systems including health, climate, cybersecurity, digital humanities, history, media, politics and the arts. Many of these presentations will showcase Arizona’s prowess with big data and translation to needed, helpful insights.”

The name “Wonder House” represents the University of Arizona’s brand: Wonder.

The full list of speakers and a schedule of events and entertainment are available online.

Arizona Arts in Austin

The Santa Cruz Sound Experience

DJ DirtyVerbs seamlessly blends cumbia as a lengua franca to sonically travel across Las Américas and beyond, mixing in sounds of the Sonoran Desert to sick beats. While your ears are delighted, your eyes can feast on Alex! Jimenez deliciously stark hand-drawn animations of storms across the Tucson sky. You won’t go hungry with Chef Omo’s fiesta food of walking tacos, elote, Sonoran hot dogs and sweet churros for a beautiful Saturday night under the SXSW stars. 

Saturday, March 11
Patio, 8p – Midnight

Movie Night at the Wonder House

Join us for an evening of short films from current and past TFTV filmmakers, some of whom you may know as major motion picture producers and directors today. Curated by the University of Arizona’s nationally ranked School of Theatre, Film & Television, featuring some of the best films going back to 2003’s An Animal Automaton by Tyler Gillett, co-directed of Scream VI. Punctuated by conversations with filmmakers Roxanna Denise Stevens IbarraZach Lovvorn and Sasha Reist, moderated by Friday Night Movie sibling podcast hosts Becky Korman and Shai KormanSee the schedule.

Tuesday, March 14
Patio, 8p – Midnight

Tucson Monsoon

In Tucson Monsoon, illustrator Alex! Jimenez creates storm vignettes that pass through the cityscape. The lightning flashes and rolling clouds create a dramatic effect. The sky moves through the beautiful colors that characterize the southwest. Parts of this animation were used to create music videos for a unique project that Alex! spearheaded in 2022 as the artist in residence for Tucson Water, the regional water utility company. 

Along with Logan Phillips, they took field recordings of the monsoon season in 2021. In 2022, they commissioned six local musicians to create original pieces using these field recordings. The playlist “Monsoon Mixtape” is available on Tucson Water’s YouTube page. Each track features Alex’s monsoon animations.  For SXSW, the artist remixed the animation to create a beautiful backdrop to Logan Phillip’s monsoon sound performance. 

>> Arizona alumna Alex! Jimenez creates a sound experience

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