MARCO DONNARUMMA

Performing bodies, sounds and machines

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


MARCO
DONNARUMMA

Hypo Chrysos

Hypo Chrysos is a work of action art for vexed body and biophysical media.

“Muscular tissues, blood, heart rate, the meat – as Francis Bacon would say – boom out.”
Digicult

About the work

During this twenty-minute action the performer pulls two concrete blocks in a circle. His motion is oppressively constant; he has to force himself into accepting the pain until the action is ended. The increasing strain of the muscular tissues produces continuous bioacoustic signals.

The sound of the blood flow, muscle contraction bursts, and bone crackling are amplified, distorted, and played back through eight loudspeakers using the biophysical instrument XTH Sense, developed by the author. The same bioacoustic data stream excites an OpenGL-generated swarm of virtual entities, lights, and organic forms diffused by a panoramic HD video projector.

Using his arms to pull two ropes tied to concrete blocks, the performer struggles to walk along the stage. The ropes are short, and this forces him to lightly bend the torso forward, while the hips move backwards to maintain the equilibrium. The combined weight of the blocks is 50Kg. Initially they are not extremely difficult to pull, but on the long run, the resistance of the performer’s (very thin) body is truly stretched to the limits.

First, the performer feels the abrasion caused by the friction of the ropes against the hands; after about ten minutes, the tension in his arms becomes painful, and a few minutes later the spinal column feels like burning due to the continuous attrition of the vertebras. In order to keep moving in this condition, the body has to continuously optimise its response to the strain, and this provokes a hightened activity of the sensory system.

The scope of the work is to transmit this sensory alteration to the bodies of the audience members. When the performer’s muscle vibration becomes tangible sound breaching into the outer world, it invades the audience members’ bodies through their ears, skin, and muscle sensory receptors. The sound makes their muscles resonate, establishing a nexus between player and audience. The listeners’ bodies, the player’s body, and the performance space resonate synchronously. The performer’s proprioceptive dimension is magnified and embraces the bodies of the audience members.

Hypo Chrysos is freely inspired by the sixth Bolgia of Dante’s Inferno, located in one of the lowest of the circles of hell. Here, the poet encounters the hypocrites walking along wearing gilded cloaks filled with lead. It was Dante’s punishment for the falsity hidden behind their behaviour; a malicious use of reason which he considered unique to human beings.

Keywords: action, spatial sound, biophysical media, strain
Status: Available for booking

Hypo Chrysos photo gallery

  • Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
  • Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
  • Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
  • Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
  • Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
  • Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
  • Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
  • Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound

Year of creation: 2011-2013
Technique: concrete rocks, ropes, custom-built XTH Sense bioacoustic sensors, computer, loudspeakers, subwoofers, HD video projector
Duration: 20’00”
Dimensions: min. 12m x 14m x 8m

Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound
Marco Donnarumma - Hypo Chrysos Body Art Sound Art Spatial Sound

Exhibitions

  • CYNETART Fest / Metabody Project, Dresden, DE, 2013
  • POLAND Tour: Contemporary Art Center Fabryka Sztuki, Łódź, PL, 2013
  • TEI, International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction, Barcelona, ES, 2013
  • Panorama Festival/Happenings, Rio De Janeiro, BR, 2012
  • Inspace, Edinburgh, UK, 2012
  • Trendelenburg AV Festival, Gijon, ES, 2011
  • Madatac Festival, Caixaforum, Madrid, ES, 2011

Credits

Chris Scott – Photography
Inspace – Studio time
Creative Scotland – In kind support

Bibliography

Donnarumma, M.,
Performing Proprioception and Effort in “Hypo Chrysos”, an Action Art Piece for the XTH Sense

eContact! Biotechnological Performance Practice / Pratiques de performance biotechnologique, 14.2, 2012.