Stephanie Dinkins wins the inaugural LG Guggenheim Award

The Brooklyn-based artist and educator Stephanie Dinkins has been nominated as the first winner of the LG Guggenheim Award, being part of the five-year-long collaboration between the South Korean-based corporation and the famous American art foundation. The initiative, begun in 2022, aims to recognize the works of artists dealing with the intersection between art and technology.

Through a range of media that includes interactive installations, sculpture, video, web projects, writing, and community workshops, Stephanie Dinkins reflects on the future evolution of technology-based art.

Thomas Yoon, President and CEO of LG Electronics North America and Naomi Beckwith, Chief Curator at the Guggenheim with Stephanie Dinkins, the 2023 LG Guggenheim Award Winner Courtesy LG

During her twenty-year-long career, Dinkins has often expressed herself using Artificial Intelligence in the forms of chatbots, augmented and virtual reality, and gallery installations. The central topics in her research compare AI with memory and familiar intimacy which, even acting at a local level, succeed in communicating on a more global level too. The vision of the artist about AI is optimistic, immersive and based on participation: for this reason, Dinkins chooses poetics and storytelling as the bases of her work, dedicating to socio-cultural topics in favour of poor and techno-marginalized communities. 

Among her most famous works we find “Conversations with Bina48”, a long-term project began in 2014 where Dinkins develops a relationship with Bina48, a humanoid robot, with the aim to transfer the consciousness of a living person onto the android. The questions and conversations between the two are about cultural, social and historical future, with intersections on technology, race, gender and social equality. 

Stephanie Dinkins photographed with Bina48’s bust
Courtesy Heather Sten

Stephanie Dinkins currently serves as a professor of art at Stony Brook University, New York. Her works have been exhibited in institutions all over the world, including the Smithsonian Museum of Arts and Industry in Washington DC, the Espoo Museum of Modern Art in Finland, and the ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany.

The artist was selected by a jury of experts in the field of art and technology including Legacy Russell, the executive director and chief curator of the Kitchen in New York, and Tina Rivers Ryan, the curator at the Buffalo AKG Art Museum in Buffalo, New York. In a statement, the jury praised Dinkins for her “inclusive and collaborative approach” that “powerfully advocates for transparency, participation and access around AI technologies, especially among communities at greatest risk of being abused by them”.