Diana Chester

The Powerhouse Research Fellowship

AUG 2022

Project Title: Sonifying the Astrographic Catalogue

Diana Chester
Image: Diana Chester

Diana Chester is a sound studies scholar, composer, educator, and artist who uses sound as a medium to express and represent information and as a method for generating new knowledge. Diana’s work engages with Sound Studies and Creative Practice in relation to cultural, historical, scientific, and ecological questions. Diana’s research is largely practice-based and relies on field recording and composition to explore sound in diverse contexts around the world working fluidly with multilingual, environmental, and data generated sounds. Current explorations include the study of sound and culture focused on religion and the environment, the audio essay as a form of sonic scholarship, and new artistic methods and practices at the intersection of spatialized media technologies and scientific data.

Diana’s monograph, Sonic Encounters: The Islamic Call to Prayer places ethnographic research encounters in conversation with artistic practice and considers the role sound plays in our understanding and reconstruction of culture and religious traditions. Diana has held solo exhibitions in the United States, Australia, India, the UAE, and Sweden, including the ‘Living Landscape, Living Memory’, Smithsonian Folklife Festival (2022); ‘Sounding Nature’, Gallery25 Perth (2021); ‘Sounding Islam’, InterArts Center Sweden (2019); ‘Theyyam Ritual, Nature, and People’, Kerala, India (2017); ‘Theyyam Nilathezhuthu’, Kerala, India (2016); Warehouse 421 Abu Dhabi, Lest We Forget, Oral History Collection (2015); ‘Everyday Life: A Repertoire of Ritual and Performance’, IMA Hall, India (2014); ‘Adhan Sonic Storyboard’, Gallery 4211, UAE (2014); ‘Babel’, DTC Gallery, UAE (2011).

Diana is a Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Sydney and is from New York. A full project history can be found at their website.