The Guggenheim Museum has just announced a new initiative, in collaboration with electronics company LG, which marks the museum’s dedication to the burgeoning field of digital and technology based art.
The LG Guggenheim Art and Technology Initiative will encompass an annual award programme and the creation of a new curatorial position at the museum, with the aim of investing in digital art in a significant way. The initiative will encompass virtual and augmented reality, artificial intelligence, NFTs and other new fields. The award will go annually to one artist making “groundbreaking achievements in technology-based art”, and will carry a prize of $100,000.
The new LG Electronics Assistant Curator will work with contemporary artists in this field, curate exhibitions, direct new research and launch educational programmes. In a statement, Naomi Beckwith, the museum’s deputy director and chief curator, said that by “promoting scholarship and public engagement, the LG Guggenheim initiative will provide essential support to the visionary artists who inspire new understanding of how technology shapes and is shaped by society.” According to the Guggenheim’s website, the new initiative is a five year “multifaceted collaboration” with LG, which is “designed to research, honour and promote artists working at the intersection of art and technology”.
Beckwith added that the museum is “especially proud to be partnering with LG on this initiative, which builds on the Guggenheim’s rich history of innovative, artist-driven programs.” From LG’s perspective, Head of Brand Management Seol Park enthused that, “we are thrilled to collaborate with the Guggenheim Museum to support creativity in the digital age. LG’s commitment to realizing technologies that touch people’s lives is very much in line with the Guggenheim’s dedication to highlight era-defining artistic expressions.”
The Guggenheim is not the first museum to expand its remit to encompass the pioneering area of art and technology. The Whitney Museum has had a curator of digital art since 2000 and the New Museum launched an incubator for art, technology and design in 2014. More recently, in January of this year, the Seattle NFT Museum opened, the first physical museum for digital art. The intersection between art and technology has had a huge cultural impact in the last few years, and the involvement of world-famous museums such as the Guggenheim in the fostering of artists, collecting and display of digital art is a significant step in the development of this area of art.