Francesca Franco

Art Historian | Art & Technology

About me

Francesca Franco is a Venetian-born art historian based in the UK whose research focuses on the history of art and technology. After studying Art History at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice she went on to study at Birkbeck University of London where she gained an MA in Digital Art History and a PhD in the History of Art. Inspired by her passion for art and the creative aspect of writing Francesca has published extensively on the history of early computer art and its pioneers and writes reviews on art shows and books for specialised journals. In addition to English and Italian her texts have been translated into various languages, including Russian, Chinese and Romanian. Alongside of her writing she is a frequent speaker at international conferences and has delivered keynotes and given talks at various universities around the world.

Presently Francesca is Senior Research Fellow at the University of Exeter, where she is researching the history of media art and the Venice Biennale. She is CI on the AHRC-funded project Documenting digital art: re-thinking histories and practices of documentation in the museum and beyond. Francesca is Visiting Lecturer at Danube University Krems, where she teaches Media Art and Curatorial Practice (MA Media Arts Cultures and MA Media Art Histories). In 2017, she was curator-in-residence at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa Venice, where she curated Algorithmic Signs, an exhibition that explored the history of pioneering generative art held at the Bevilacqua's historical gallery in St. Mark's square. Her first solo authored book, Generative Systems Art - The Work of Ernest Edmonds has been published by Routledge in 2018. Her second monograph, The Algorithmic Dimension - Five Artists in Conversation, will be published by Springer in 2020. She is currently working on her next curatorial project, a large- scale exhibition of computer art for the 2021 Venice Biennale.

The central theme of Francesca’s research is the history of art and technology and the pioneers of computer art. Increasingly it concerns issues of generative and interactive art and the connections between Constructivism and Systems art in early computational art. A major focus has been the history of the Venice Biennale culminating in a series of publications in books, academic journals and art magazines. Francesca has reviewed every Venice Biennale since 2007 which reflects her constant affection for this major event in the city of her birth.

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