Episode Four: Storytelling

February 22, 2021

In Episode Four, we talk about the algorithmic potential of storytelling. Artists Stephanie Dinkins and Stan Douglas discuss how they use the language of photography, surveillance, and AI to narrate different pasts and imagine different futures. Dinkins draws upon her own life experience, while Douglas incorporates moments from British history.

Photo of artist Stephanie Dinkins.

Stephanie Dinkins

Stephanie Dinkins is a transmedia artist who creates platforms for dialogue about race, gender, and aging. She is particularly driven to work with communities of color to co-create more equitable, values-grounded social and technological ecosystems. Dinkins exhibits and publicly advocates for equitable AI internationally. Her work has been supported by fellowships, grants, and residencies from the Berggruen Institute, the Onassis Foundation, the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence, Creative Capital, the Sundance Institute New Frontier Story Lab, Eyebeam, Data & Society, Pioneer Works, NEW INC, and The Laundromat Project. Dinkins is a professor at Stony Brook University, where she holds the Kusama Endowed Chair in Art.

Photo of artist Stan Douglas

Stan Douglas

Since the late 1980s, Stan Douglas has created films and photographs that investigate technology’s role in image-making and how it infiltrates and shapes collective memory. He was recently selected to represent Canada at the 59th Venice Biennale in 2022. Douglas participated in the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019, where he debuted his video installation Doppelgänger and presented a selection of photographs from his 2017 series Blackout. He lives and works in Vancouver.

Photo of artist Martine Syms sitting on top of a car, smiling.

Martine Syms

Martine Syms is an artist using video and performance to examine representations of blackness. Her work has been exhibited and screened extensively, including presentations at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the New Museum, New York; and the Studio Museum in Harlem. She runs Dominica Publishing, an imprint dedicated to exploring blackness in visual culture. Syms is the author of Implications and Distinctions: Format, Content and Context in Contemporary Race Film (2011). She is a faculty member in the School of Art at the California Institute of the Arts.


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Generous support for the Hillman Photography Initiative is provided by the William Talbott Hillman Foundation and the Henry L. Hillman Foundation.

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