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Culture

Stephanie Dinkins’ Secret Garden, Part of Sundance New Frontier 2021

NEW YORK – ONX Studio, a collaboration of Onassis USA and the New Museum’s NEW INC, on January 8 announced the inclusion of ONX member and Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) artist-in-residence Stephanie Dinkins in the 2021 Sundance Film Festival New Frontier Program, where she joins an illustrious international group of artists working in VR and new media. Dinkins has been an integral part of the NEW INC community for nearly five years: from 2016-17 as an incubator member, from 2018-20 as an Artist-in-Residence as part of the Nokia Bell Labs E.A.T. initiative, and currently as part of the inaugural cohort of ONX Studio members.

Her project Secret Garden is an immersive web experience and installation, illuminating the power and resilience in Black women’s stories. In the work, interactive audio vignettes generate a multi-generational narrative that collapses past, present, and future. In addition to Secret Garden, Stephanie Dinkins and fellow ONX members Ari Melenciano and Idris Brewster along with filmmaker Sophia Nahli Allison have been selected by New Frontier to premiere their work, Traveling the Interstitium with Octavia Butler, produced in association with NY Live Arts. Of the fourteen projects selected for New Frontier, four were created by NEW INC alumni and ONX members.

All the New Frontier projects will be showcased in a custom-built digital platform, and Secret Garden will additionally have a special in-person presentation at ONX Studio, located at 645 Fifth Avenue in New York City, with the installation designed to meet best practices of social distancing. Secret Garden will run with timed ticketing on January 29-February 3, from 12-7 PM each day. Tickets ($10) are now on sale online.

ONX studio will have an accompanying free public program on February 2, 11 AM-12 PM EST. “Bodies in Space: Storytelling and the Moving Image in Extended Reality” features Tribeca Film Festival’s Loren Hammonds moderating a conversation with two artists– Stephanie Dinkins and Greek artist Loukia Alavanou– whose practices embrace storytelling through VR, AR, and experiential design.

ONX Studio distinguishes itself as a hybrid space where work is both created and presented. It functions as an accelerator, a subsidized production studio and workspace, and an exhibition gallery located in the Onassis Gallery of Olympic Tower in Midtown Manhattan.

Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist who creates platforms about our future. Her art practice employs lens-based practices, emerging technologies, and community engagement to confront the contradictory histories, traditions, knowledge(s) and philosophies that form/in-form society-at-large, underpinning her thought and art production. Professor Dinkins holds the Kusama Endowed Chair in Art at Stony Brook University and is Artist-in-Residence at the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, 2019 Creative Capital Grantee, and a 2018 Soros Equality Fellow. The New York Times has featured Dinkins in its pages as an AI influencer, and she has been profiled in Wired, Art In America, and the BBC, among others.

Dinkin’s Secret Garden is the culmination of the Nokia Bell Labs Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) residency program that engages NEW INC alumni and Nokia Bell Labs researchers for a year-long collaboration to produce new works of art that are enabled by Nokia Bell Labs technology. Project collaborators drawn from NEW INC’s alumni community include award-winning extended reality studios Sensorium and DOT DOT, and with support from Scatter, creators of Depthkit.

Secret Garden was also commissioned as part of the Eureka Commissions by Onassis USA, an initiative catalyzing forward-looking, exploratory, interrogative work within a new cultural landscape irrevocably changed by COVID-19 and a society grappling with social and racial injustice.

More information is available online: https://www.newmuseum.org.

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