R. Eric McMaster & Michael Chesser

January 27 - March 17

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      R. Eric McMaster, Bells Suspended from Clouds (detail), 2018. Colored light, magnetically oscillated wire. Image courtesy of the artist.

      Fluent~Collaborative & testsite are pleased to present BELLS SUSPENDED FROM CLOUDS, a collaboration with artist R. Eric McMaster and contemporary art collector Michael Chesser. The project opens on Sunday, January 27th with a public reception from 4 to 6 PM—a conversation between the artist and collaborator at 4:30 PM and a performance by the string quartet invoke to follow.

      Bells Suspended from Clouds approaches sound as sculpture material, and as a visual initiator.

      The exhibition features aural and visual elements inspired by the Russian composer Alexander Scriabin, who in the late 1800s and early 1900s created works at the intersection of music, light, and experience.

      At the core of the installation, a number of steel strings are installed throughout the rooms of testsite, thereby transforming the space into an instrument. Rather than plucking or mechanically striking, a small magnetic device activates the strings, oscillating them indefinitely. The results are a series of tones creating a soundscape that functions much the same as sculpture or installation: the sound is present when you arrive, it affects your experience as you move around the space, and, after you leave, the sound continues to exist.

      Supplementing the exhibition will be a performance featuring musicians, who will create an improvisation highlighting and accompanying the tones of the stringed gallery.


      R. Eric McMaster’s works often involve athletes, performers, and/or experiences that are jolted or shifted in some way, be it environmental, situational or through interaction with an object. An effort is made to disrupt the familiar through materiality, context, or narrative as a way to highlight an unnamable amalgam of absence, humor, and awe.

      McMaster’s works have exhibited in New York, Hiroshima, New Delhi, Miami, Los Angeles, Houston, New Orleans, Philadelphia, San Antonio, and Phoenix among others. He is the recipient of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship, the Ted Decker Catalyst Fund, and numerous scholastic grants and scholarships. R Eric McMaster lives and works in Austin and is a faculty member at The University of Texas.

      Michael Chesser is a supporter of artists in dance, visual arts, musicians and music performance. He grew up in the Texas Panhandle and currently resides in Austin. A graduate from Texas Christian University (Fort Worth, TX) in 1969, he, shortly thereafter, became a graduate of Brooks Institute of Photography (Santa Barbara, CA) in 1973. After working as a photographer for an archaeological dig in Turkey for two seasons, he became an advertising studio still life photographer based in Los Angeles for over 20 years from 1973 through 1996. As a photographer, he has received numerous local, regional and national awards.

      He has supported the Center for Yoga (Los Angeles, CA), LA Style (Los Angeles, CA), which provides scholarships for students living in economically depressed neighborhoods to focus their studies in the Arts, and the art publication Art Lies (Austin, TX). In Austin, he has served or continues to serve on the Board of Directors for the Waterloo LGBT Counseling Center, the Board of Advisors for AMOA, the Board of Directors for Arthouse, the National Leadership Board for The Blanton Museum of Art, the Board of Trustees for The Contemporary Austin, the Board of Directors for line upon line percussion, and the Board of Advisors for the Sarah and Earnest Butler School of Music.


      Opening reception at testsite: Sunday, January 27, 4-6pm with a conversation between the collaborators at 4:30pm. Exhibition on view through March 17.
      : 502 West 33rd Street, Austin, TX
      Hours: Sundays 4-6 PM and by appointment (e: LKarazija@fluentcollab.org, t: 512 453 3199 x2)