Performing bodies, sounds and machines

Marco Donnarumma | peformance art and technology, sound art and body politics


Marco Donnarumma Sound Art Performance and TechnologyPhoto: Ugo Dalla Porta, New York City, US, 2014. License: CC-BY-SA 4.0.

Artist and scholar.
Born in Naples, Italy, 1984. Lives and works in Berlin, Germany.

A unique presence across contemporary performance and media art, Marco Donnarumma distinguishes himself by his use of emerging technology to deliver artworks that are at once intimate and powerful, oneiric and uncompromising, sensual and confrontational. Working with biotechnology, biophysical sensing, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and neurorobotics, Donnarumma expresses the chimerical nature of the body with a new and unsettling intensity. He is renown for his focus on sound, whose physicality and depth he exploits to create experiences of instability, awe, shock and entrainment.

In 14 years of practice, Donnarumma has developed a deeply transdisciplinary expertise, drawing equally from live art, music, biological science, computation and cultural studies. He holds a Ph.D. in performing arts, computing and body theory from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is currently a Research Fellow at the Berlin University of the Arts in partnership with the Neurorobotics Research Lab Berlin. His newest performance for human dancers and AI prostheses, Alia: Zǔ tài, was recently awarded the Goethe Institut’s International Coproduction Fund, and will be co-produced in 2018 by CTM Festival (Berlin) and Chronus Art Center (Shanghai) during a year of exchange across Germany and China.

Writing regularly on body, music, technology and performance studies, Donnarumma is published by MIT Press, Oxford University Press, Routledge and Springer. His artworks received several awards, including the second prize (Award of Distinction) in Sound Art at the Prix Ars Electronica (2017), the first prize at the Cynetart Award for Computer Based Art (2014), the second prize at TransitioMX Award for New Media Art (2013), and the first prize at the Guthman New Musical Instrument Competition (2012), among others. Articles and interviews featuring his work appear on BBC, The WIRE, Forbes, Reuters, ARTE.TV, Wired, IEEE, RTVE, El Pais, CreativeApplications, ResonanceFM and The Creators Project.

Donnarumma’s arresting visions of the body toured more than 60 countries worldwide with shows at Venice Biennale (Venice), Steirischer Herbst (Graz), ZKM Center for Art and Media (Karlsruhe), Sónar+D Advanced Music Festival (Barcelona), ISEA International Symposium on Electronic Art (Albuquerque), FILE Electronic Language Festival (Sao Paulo), RPM: Ten Years of Sound Art in China (Shanghai), Laboratorio Arte Alameda (Mexico City), Némo Biennal of Digital Arts (Paris), transmediale Festival for Art and Digital Culture and CTM Festival for Adventurous Music and Art (Berlin). He was granted fundings from the European Commission, Goethe-Institut, British Council, Creative Scotland, New Media Scotland, and the Danish Arts Council, and received commissions from CTM, transmediale, 4DSOUND, European Conference of Promoters of New Music and STEIM.


2012/16 Ph.D. Arts & Computational Technology, Goldsmiths, University of London
2010/12 MScR with Honors Sound Design, University of Edinburgh
2004/07 BA with Honors New Technologies for the Arts, Venice Academy of Fine Arts


2017 Corpus Nil, Award of Distinction (second Prize) for Sound Art, Prix Ars Electronica, AT
2017 Corpus Nil, Nomination, Ars Electronica STARTS Prize, AT
2014 Nigredo, First Prize, Cynetart Award for Computer Based Art, DE
2013 Nigredo, Second Prize, TransitioMX Award for New Media Art, MX
2012 XTH Sense/Music for Flesh II, First Prize, Margaret Guthman New Musical Instrument Competition, US
2010 Golden Shield Music, Finalist, Screengrab New Media Art Award, AU
2009 Risveglio: Venezia, Honorary Mention, Venice Film Meeting Award, IT
2006 TheSAD, First Prize, BLM International Electronic Music Award, IT
2005 Autoctono, First Prize, Live!iXem Award for Live Media and Electronic Arts, IT


2018 Goethe-Institut, International Coproduction Fund
in partnership with CTM Festival, Chronus Art Center and Nunu Kong, Berlin, DE / Shanghai, CN.
2016/18 Research Fellowship, Berlin University of the Arts
in partnership with the Neurorobotics Research Laboratoy at Beuth-Hochschule für Technik Berlin.
2012/14 Fellowship, Creativity + Technology = Enterprise, Harvestworks and The Rockefeller Foundation, US
2012/15 European Research Council (ERC) Scholarship, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
2012 Andrew Grant Bequest Fund, Edinburgh College of Art, UK
2012 Alt-w Production Grant, New Media Scotland, UK
2011 Creative Scotland International Funding, UK


2017/18 CTM Festival, New Work Commission for Corpus Nil: Eingeweide, DE
2015 4DSound, New Work Commission and Residency for 0-Infinity, HU
2014 transmediale / Art Hack Day, New Work Commission for Septic, DE
2013 STEIM, New Work Commission and Residency for Nigredo, NL
2012 European Conference of Promoters of New Music, New Work Commission for Ominous, BE
2011 Danish National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance, Artistic Residency, DK
2011 New Media Scotland, Work Development and Residency, UK
2005 Laboratory of Stage Arts, New Work Technical Development, LV