Marco Donnarumma is a performer, sound artist, musician and writer. He has played interactive music by amplifying sounds from his body, has induced visitors in altered states of self-perception by feeding sounds from their bodies back to their skulls and bones, has immersed audiences in multichannel sound and video produced by the strain of his muscles while he pulled 50kg stones, and has physicalised digital viruses in the body.
He uses biomedical and sound technologies, computer software, actuators, sensor and transducers to create ways in which human bodies and machines can extend, transform or disrupt each other. He conceives of both human bodies and machines as materials. His live performances, concerts and installations are renown for combining a seemingly simple and minimalistic aesthetic, rigorous science, technical sophistication, and strong critical concepts.
He has performed and spoken in over 50 countries across North and South America, Asia, Australia and Europe. His works have been presented at leading art and music events, digital, sound and performance art festivals, research institutions, historical music venues and national museums. Among them are Sónar+D, ISEA, Venice Biennale, BBC Music, ISCM World Music Days, Transmediale, FILE, Panorama, NYEAF, Sound Art China, CYNETART, Piksel, EMPAC, Stanford CCRMA, NYU, STEIM, IRCAM, FACT, Experimental Intermedia, Spectrum NYC, Café Oto, Mumuth Concert Hall, Hoerbar, Museo Reina Sofia, CCCB Barcelona.
Marco has received a number of awards, most notably the first prize in the Guthman New Musical Instrument Competition (Georgia Tech, US, 2012) for the Xth Sense; the Cynetart Prize for Computer Based Art (DE) and the Transitio New Media Art Award (MX) for Nigredo, created with Marije Baalman. His projects have been reviewed on BBC, Forbes, Reuters, ARTE.TV, Wired, RTVE, El Pais, CreativeApplications, ResonanceFM, Weave, Create Digital Music, We Make Money Not Art and Digicult.
He was granted fundings from the European Commission, British Council, Creative Scotland, New Media Scotland, and the Danish Arts Council. He has received commissions from Festival Transmediale and the European Conference of Promoters of New Music, among the others, and has been an invited artist in residence at STEIM (NL), Inspace (UK), and the National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance (DK).
An integral part of his practice is the creation and sharing of interactive biophysical instruments using free software and open hardware. Recently, with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation and Harvestworks (US), he co-founded XTH, a New York-based company making open source biotechnologies that use sound to enable different modes of expression.
He is the editor of Biotechnological Performance Practice (eContact! 14.2), a comprehensive journal publication on biotech and the performing arts. His writings have appeared in journals such as the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (MIT Press) and the Transaction On Human-Computer Interactions (ACM), and in specialised books, the forthcoming being Experiencing the Unconventional – new materials of artists (World Scientific) and Meat, Metal & Code: Contestable Chimeras – Stelarc (Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art).
As a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths London with Atau Tanaka and Matthew Fuller, he investigates how body theory can inform the design of combined biosensing and machine learning technologies for music and the performing arts. His academic research is presented at conferences such as CHI, NIME, ICMC, Pd Con, Linux Audio.
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