PUERTO RICAN ARTIST DIOGENES BALLESTER RECEIVES INDIVIUDUAL ARTIST AWARD FROM THE NEW YORK STATE COUNCIL ON THE ARTS
New York, New York, December, 2005—As the sponsoring organization, the Association of Hispanic Arts (AHA) is pleased to announce that Diogenes Ballester was awarded an Individual Artist Award from the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) for the creation of an Oral History/Digital Book addressing a Puerto Rican family's expression of African/Catholic/Taino religious beliefs in the epic process of creating a home.
Last year, Diogenes used the theme of oral history, the conveyance of information, and the tradition of the book for an installation entitled “Keeper of History, Holder of Dreams”. This installation art project was presented at El Centro Gallery at The Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College and at MediaNoche Gallery located in East Harlem, New York.
The installation at El Centro Gallery was a ritual art conception that conveyed the syncretic oral history themes through an artist’s hand made book with an epic poem by poet mboncher, a large scale charcoal and carved drawing on wood, an assemblage of found objects, digital media, and audience interaction The installation was further developed at MediaNoche Gallery. In this installation, Diogenes combined classical art with experimental new media art including the incorporation of digital video sound and Internet transmission. This exploration consisted of projecting a real time video of one of his artist’s books from his studio to the MediaNoche Gallery via the Internet where he had displayed an installation of a large blank artist’s book, a charcoal drawing on tree stumps, a large wood book holder, and recorded oral history stories from a DVD player.
The support received from NYSCA will allow Diogenes to continue with his research on the syncretic oral history and the digital media.