Performing bodies, sounds and machines

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


Marco Donnarumma Sound Art Performance and Technology0-Infinity at TodaysArt Festival, NL, 2015. Photo: Fanny Fazakas.

Research Themes

Marco’s research concentrates on corporeality and computation for sound performance and performance art. Corporeality refers to physiological, phenomenological and cultural basis of embodied practices. Marco has a multidimensional approach to research which brings together sound art, cultural and philosophical studies of the body and human-computer interaction.

His research contributes to three areas of studies. First, it contributes to the cultural study of the body by extending existing analytical tools to address the corporeality of the body when coupled with technology. His notion of configuration helps analyse the centrality of materials, expression and experience to the corporeality arising from the intimacy of the body and technology.
Second, it contributes to the field of physiological computing by creating computational tools to understand gesture expressivity through muscle sensing. These tools allow to test aspects of corporeality and create ways enabling an approach to human-computer interaction that builds upon human embodiment.
Third, it produces original performance strategies that, by applying the theories and tools described above, problematise the relation between sound and physiology, and embodiment and computation. This research is embodied in an ongoing series of award-winning performance works.

His academic research is presented at top-tier and specialised conferences such as CHI, ISEA, NIME, ICMC, Pd Con, Linux Audio. Marco is the editor of the first audiovisual anthology of Biophysical Music for the Computer Music Journal (MIT Press), and for Biotechnological Performance Practice (eContact! 14.2), a comprehensive journal publication on biotech and the performing arts.
His writings have appeared in leading journals such as the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (MIT Press) and the Transactions On Computer-Human Interactions (ACM), and in specialised books, like Experiencing the Unconventional – Science in Art (World Scientific) and Meat, Metal & Code: Contestable Chimeras – Stelarc (Łaźnia Centre for Contemporary Art).