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"String Room"
Maria Chávez

  • DEMO Gallery 721 Congress Avenue Austin, TX, 78701 United States (map)

Many fixed sound installations confine the audience and bind performer/sound artist into static points within a contained room. In "String Room", grand piano strings are tensioned from ceiling to floor, each aligned differently throughout the gallery. These configured strings allow the viewer to pluck the strings as they walk around the space. The room becomes an activated place where a viewer interacts with the instrument and depending on the number of participants at any given time, the room can become vibrant cacophony or a minimal soundscape.

"String Room" will have dedicated time periods throughout the installation that will allow all artists and performers from the Austin, Texas area to sign up and have personal time to perform within the installation. For a performer/composer, this installation may force them to take into account the many varied perspectives that one may hear in their works, transforming their creative process from composing sounds that emit towards a body of people, into an all encompassing approach that physically engages the entire social and political aspects, becoming equal bodies in a performance space.

About Maria Chávez:

Born in Lima, Peru and based in NYC, Maria Chávez is best known as an abstract turntablist, sound artist, and DJ. Accidents, coincidence, and failures are themes that unite her sound sculptures, installations and other works with her improvised solo turntable performance practice. Maria was thought to be deaf until the age of three when her family came to Austin, Texas and doctors at the University of Texas removed the water from her ears allowing her to hear her first sounds.
She was chosen to be a composer fellow with the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in Umbertide, Italy, is currently a research fellow with the Sound Practice Research Department of Goldsmith’s University of London until fall of 2017 and will be an arts fellow with the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in 2017. Her work is published and is featured at art museums, festivals and on radio world-wide including previously at MoMA, MoMA PS1, the Villa Romana Festival (Italy), and Museo Centre de Carmen (Valencia, Spain). She was an artist in residence with CEC Artslink Back Apartment Residency in St. Petersburg, Russia, has presented sound installation/ performance works for the JUDD Foundation (Marfa, Texas) and will present a new radio sonic art piece for Every Time a Ear di Soun as part of DOCUMENTA 14 in Kassel, Germany this year.

Opening Reception @ DEMO Gallery: Saturday, April 8th, 7-11pm
Solo Turntable Performance @ DEMO Gallery: Wednesday, April 12th, 8pm
DJ Set @ Al Volta's Midnight Bar, 315 E 17th St: Saturday, April 15th, 1am
The Language of Chance workshop (Ages 12-17): Sunday, April 16th, 3-6pm