Dr Diana Chester is a digital media artist, musician and scholar. Her work draws on sound studies, archival studies, and the ethnographic study of expressive culture in religious festival and tradition. Her current research is on the Theyyam festival in South India, The Islamic Call to Prayer, and the development of a new vernacular photography collection of the Tatar American community in Brooklyn, New York who founded the first mosque in the United States.
In her teaching, Dr Chester is preoccupied with the fusion of practice and theory, and is part of a collaborative team that explores the pedagogical and artistic implications of a process that integrates the visual arts, music, writing, and performance as a way of interpreting core texts and materials. Dr Chester holds a BA in Religion from Mount Holyoke College, an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies in Sociology and Education from Columbia University, and a PhD in Digital Media Studies from the University of Porto.
Art and Archives
“Theyyam Ritual, Nature, and People”, A walking art installation in collaboration with visual artist Dhanaraj Keezhara. February 2017 in Keezhara village, Kerala and April 2017 in Folklore Village Kannur, Kerala.
“Acquisition as Appropriation: from the Parthenon to the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim,” Affirmations: Of the modern, 4.1, Autumn 2016.
“Sound Map” A sonic mapping project that chronicles the Adan from mosques around the world. 2016. Found at dianachester.com/soundmap.html
“Lest We Forget: In Conversation with Susan Meiselas and Michele Bambling” Tribe Magazine, Issue 38. March 2016.
“Artists, Archivist, and Community,” IASA Journal, Issue 45. October 2015. 59-61.
“Adan Sonic Storyboard”, an interactive installation exploring the sonic nuance of the call to prayer, fusing digital images, recorded sound, and sensor based data collection via microcontroller, Gallery 4211, Al Ain Tower, Abu Dhabi, UAE, May 2014.
“Everyday Life: A Repertoire of Ritual and Performance”, A multimedia exhibition in collaboration with Indian artist Dhanaraj Kheezara, fusing painting, drawing and spacialized sound composition in exploration of caste marginalization in Theyyam, IMA Hall, Kannur, India. December 2014.
“The Telematic Learning Environment: Experiences and Outcomes Teaching via Network Audio,” IEEE conference proceedings for International Conference on Audio Language and Image Processing, June 2012.
“Babel”, 8-channel audio installation inspired by the story of the tower of babel, co-composed with Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology Martin Daughtry, Abu Dhabi, 2011.
Art & Ethnography