Daniela Agostinho

Daniela Agostinho

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Daniela Agostinho is the recipient of a Mads Øvlisen postdoctoral fellowship awarded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation for her project entitled "Archival Encounters: Ethics of Care, Curatorial Practice and Postcolonial Digital Archives" (2018-2021).

She is affiliated with the Uncertain Archives research collective and with two other networks: Algorithmic Software Cultures and the Network for Research on Drones and Aesthetics

As a visual and cultural theorist, her research is concerned with feminist and post/decolonial perspectives on archives, visual and digital culture. 

She studied Media and Culture Studies in Lisbon and Berlin. She holds a PhD (2014) in Culture Studies with a dissertation on the photographic records of Ravensbrück women's concentration camp, in which she discussed the relation between visibility, archival reason, gender and disciplinary power. Before joining the University of Copenhagen, she was a Lecturer in the MA in PhD programs in Culture Studies at Catholic University of Portugal, and project manager of the EU-funded project Culture@Work. 

Her main areas of interest and research are cultural theory, visual culture, feminist, postcolonial and decolonial studies, moving image studies and digital culture. She currently works on the politics and aesthetics of colonial archives, the media aesthetics of remote warfare, the notion of intimacy in algorithmic culture, and more broadly on cultural theories of datafication and emerging technologies.

She is also interested in artistic and curatorial research as modes of knowledge. She is an independent curator, having recently curated the Lisbon leg of Artists Film International at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (Lisbon, 2017, in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery, London) and '13 Shots', solo show by Aimée Zito Lema at Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon (with Luisa Santos and Ana Cachola, 2018). She is the recipient of a curatorial grant from the Porto Municipality to conduct the practice-based project "Fleshing Out the Image: Materialities of the Moving Image in Contemporary Culture" (2019-2020). 

Her research has been published in journals such as Big Data & Society, Philosophy of Photography, Surveillance & Society, Digital Creativity, Archival Science, Symplokè, Senses & Society, Diffractions, among others.

She is co-editor of two forthcoming books, one entitled "Uncertain Archives: Critical Keywords for Big Data" (with Nanna Bonde Thylstrup, Catherine D'Ignazio, Annie Ring and Kristin Veel, MIT Press, 2021) and "(W)Archives: Archival Imaginaries, War, and Contemporary Art" (with Solveig Gade, Nanna Thylstrup and Kristin Veel, Sternberg Press, 2020). With Katrine Dirckinck-Holmfeld and Karen Soilen she edited a special issue of the Nordic Journal for Information Science and Cultural Mediation entitled 'Archives that Matter: infrastructures for Sharing Unshared Histories". 

Current research

My current project is funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation through a Mads Øvlisen postdoctoral fellowship (2018-2020). The project is entitled "Archival Encounters: Ethics of Care, Curatorial Practice and Postcolonial Digital Archives" and is concerned with image ethics and digitization of colonial archives. The project theorizes the impact of digitization upon the ethics of virwership in relation to colonial archives, with a particular focus on the colonial archives of the US Virgin Islands.  

Archival Encounters: Ethics of Care, Curatorial Practice and Postcolonial Digital Archives

Archival Encounters is a research project dedicated to thinking about the cultural, ethical and political effects of digitising colonial archives. The project investigates the limitations and possibilities of knowing with and beyond the colonial archive, and seeks to cultivate modalities of engagement with colonial archives that address the gaps elicited by digitisation.

The project was prompted by the recent digitisation of the Danish colonial archives of the United States Virgin Islands (formerly known as the Danish West Indies) and by the need to foster critical and imaginative conversations about the conditions through which communities collectively encounter colonial archives today.

Archival Encounters suggests that a critical understanding of the conditions under which archives circulate today needs to be grounded in critical, inventive and reparative approaches to archives advanced by the fields of postcolonial studies, African diaspora studies and critical archival studies, as well as by artistic engagements with colonial legacies. The project seeks to foster dialogue between these fields and to generate new knowledge and practices in collaboration with researchers and artists from Denmark and the United States Virgin Islands.

You can read more about the project and follow its activities at archivalencounters.com. 

Primary fields of research

Visual culture, cultural theory, feminist theory, postcolonial studies, digital culture, media aesthetics, feminist technology studies, feminist and postcolonial digital humanities. 

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