Stefania De Vincentis
History of Contemporary Art

What do you teach at Ca’ Foscari? What are your main research interests?
I am originally from Brindisi, adopted by Ferrara, and have been part of the Ca' Foscari community for a few months only. At the Department of Humanities I teach in the MA in Digital and Public Humanities the courses Digital Art, Digital Iconography and Iconology Studies, as well as a course in History of Contemporary Art. I am one of the members of the VeDPH where I follow projects on digital museums and their different forms of representation related to research, communication, exhibitions and creative processes. My interest is in art historical collections, catalogues and exhibitions that benefit from digital interpretation to share new resources for the benefit of the community of scholars, students, enthusiasts and in general a curious public interested in learning about their cultural heritage.

What led you to pursue a research career?
My training is rooted in visual arts production and curatorship processes, with initial research into those video art practices designed to have a strong interaction with the audience and the surrounding space.
I obtained my PhD in Human Sciences at the University of Ferrara, where I had already worked as a research fellow, developing my interest in Digital Art History and Digital Cultural Heritage. In Ferrara I conducted interdisciplinary research between the History of Modern Art chair of the Department of Humanities and the Department of Architecture in the TekneHub-Tecnopolo of the Emilia-Romagna High Technology Network. Working at these two hubs gave me the chance to take part in a fruitful dialogue with local and national museums. The latest outcome of these partnerships is the creation of the DiDiART - Diagnostica e Digitale per l'Arte ("Diagnostics and Digital Art") laboratory, of which I am one of the founding members and now part of the Steering Committee.

What are you most passionate about in your research?
Digital processing in art history and museums offers the possibility to help design interpretative models to visualise artworks, represent collection displacement, read the museum space, and set up new narrative formulas between the artwork and its viewer. These elements rely not only on scientific research, but also on creative skills, giving the museum an increasingly workshop-like and participatory value.

Have you always known that this was going to be your path?
Research can feel abstract, especially if it is not immediately associated with a precise object. That object, moreover, is not always clear; on the contrary, it begins to take shape along the way, later becoming a project and then an ambition. I didn't know if I would ever have the ambition and self-denial to go down this road. I certainly had a strong determination and passion, and I think it was these two factors that set me on the most favourable road.

Can you offer any advice to researchers in the early stages of their career?
I can advise all those approaching research not to be afraid of dealing with fields of knowledge that are apparently outside their own field of study. Contamination between disciplines, methods, techniques and languages not only is a resource to consolidate interest in scientific research by broadening your interpretation skills, but it is also an opportunity to test your professional goal and the field in which you choose to work.

Last update: 20/07/2023