MARCO DONNARUMMA

Performing bodies, sounds and machines

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


MARCO
DONNARUMMA

Nigredo

Nigredo is a private experience of altered self-perception and biophysical media. The work is presented in the form of a time-based installation for one visitor at a time.

“A deep, dark look into one’s self.”
Kathrin Bucher, Chief Curator, Interim Director at Universalmuseum Joanneum, AT

About the work

Policies and practices of intolerance and social segregation are increasingly becoming the norm. These practices capitalize on fear: the instinctive human fear of the bodies of “others”, bodies that are different from one’s own. Nigredo is a statement: the fear of other bodies is unfounded, for one’s own body is the first and foremost thing one cannot fully know.

Accompanied by an assistant, a visitor enters a very small and completely blackened booth. Here the visitor is invited to sit on a chair facing a one-way mirror. The assistant requests the visitor to take off shoes and shirt, then blocks the skull of the visitor to the chair using an elastic headband and helps the visitor wearing a XTH Sense biosensor at the location nearest to the heart.

The XTH Sense captures the sound of the visitor’s heartbeat, blood flow and muscle contractions. That sound is digitally processed and fed back to the visitor’s body in the form of new audio, visual and physical stimuli: sounds are diffused by a hidden surround system and two subwoofers, flickering lights are generated by LED strips located behind the visitor’s body, while intense mechanical vibrations are induced to the whole body using three high-power infrasound devices.

By making direct contact with the skull and the vertebral column, the infrasound devices feed back to the visitor’s body her own visceral sounds in the form of mechanical vibration patterns. The patterns create a strong acoustic resonance inside the visitor’s rib cage and thus displace the position of one’s body organs.

The combination of intense whole-body vibration, spatialised auditive stimuli and flickering lights results in a state of perceptual deprivation, where physiological, physical and neural alterations make one’s own body feel as an external entity.

Awards: Cynetart Award (DE), TransitioMX Prize (MX)
Keywords: Installation, bioacoustics, whole-body vibration, surround sound, perceptual deprivation
Status: Touring


Nigredo photo gallery

  • Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art

Year of creation: 2013
Technique: custom-built XTH Sense heartbeat sensor, breathing rate sensor, acoustic exciters, audio amplifiers, computer, LED lights, planed fir, black molton
Duration: 8’00”
Dimensions: 1.20m x 1.20m x 2.40m

Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Nigredo Sound Art

Exhibitions

  1. Steirischer Herbst – Musikprotokoll

    Österreichischer Rundfunk Festival, Kunsthaus, Graz, AT, 2015

  2. CYNETART Festival

    Intern. Festival for Computer based Art, Hellerau, Dresden, DE, 2014

  3. TransitioMX Biomediation,

    5th Competition of Electronic Arts and Video, Centro Nacional de las Artes, Mexico City, 2013

  4. STEIM / TodaysArts Festival

    Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music, premiere, Amsterdam, NL, 2013

Credits

Marco Donnarumma – Concept, composition, programming
Marije Baalman – Artistic support, hardware engineering
Lucas Norer – Technical support
Ida Toft – Visitors’ assistant
Tanja Busking – Videography
David Pinzer – Photographer
Jonathan Reus – Curator
STEIM – Production

Bibliography

Donnarumma, M.,
Nigredo: Configuring Human and Technological Bodies
Experiencing the Unconventional – Science in Art. Eds. Theresa Schubert-Minski and Andrew Adamatzky. London: World Scientific, 2015.