Performing bodies, sounds and machines

Marco Donnarumma | sound art and performance art, human body and biotechnology


Marco Donnarumma Sound Art Performance and TechnologyPhoto: Ugo Dalla Porta, New York City, US, 2014

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

A unique presence in contemporary performance, Marco Donnarumma distinguishes himself by his use of emerging technology to deliver body performances that are at once intimate and powerful, oneiric and uncompromising, sensual and confrontational. Working with biotechnology, biophysical sensing, and more recently artificial intelligence and neurorobotics, Donnarumma expresses the chimerical nature of the body with a new and unsettling intensity. He is renown for his skill in using sound, whose physicality and depth he exploits to create experiences of instability, awe, shock and entrainment.

His latest performance, CORPUS NIL, creates a tense choreographic interchange between a performer and an autonomous machine using human bioelectrical and bioacoustic signals. 0-INFINITY is a monumental architecture of infrasound vibrations, audible sounds and high-powered lights morphing in response to biosignals and movement data from the visitors’ bodies. In OMINOUS and MUSIC FOR FLESH II he plays interactive music by amplifying sounds from his body. His installation NIGREDO induces visitors in altered states of self-perception by feeding sounds from their bodies back to their skulls and bones.

Actively contributing to the collaboration of art&science since a decade, Donnarumma’s arresting visions of the body have toured more than 60 countries worldwide, including, among the others, leading institutions and art events such as Venice Biennale (IT), Steirischer Herbst (AT), ZKM Center for Art and Media (DE), Sónar+D Advanced Music Festival (ES), ISEA International Symposium on Electronic Art (INT), FILE Electronic Language International Festival (BR), RPM: Ten Years of Sound Art in China (CN), Laboratorio Arte Alameda (MX), Némo International Biennal of Digital Arts (FR), transmediale Festival for Art and Digital Culture (DE), CTM Festival for Adventurous Music and Art (DE).


2016/18 Research Fellowship, Berlin University of the Arts
in partnership with the Neurorobotics Research Laboratoy at Beuth-Hochschule für Technik Berlin.
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


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


2012 Creativity + Technology = Enterprise, Harvestworks and The Rockefeller Foundation, US
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


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