MARCO DONNARUMMA

Performing bodies, sounds and machines

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


MARCO
DONNARUMMA

Corpus Nil

Corpus Nil is a ritual of birth for a modified body. It is performed by a human performer and an autonomous sound and light machine in a black box theatre.

About the work

A cluster of skin and muscle lay on stage, it is an unborn body. As the performance starts, the body begins to reconfigure its parts: through a choreography pushing the limits of muscular tension, limbs torsion, skin friction and equilibrium, the body evolves into a new unfamiliar being. As it moves, the body produces neuronal voltage and bioacoustics sounds which are captured through biophysical sensors. A machine uses the voltages and the sounds of the body as the raw material to autonomously generate a monolithic sound and light object. The corporeal sounds and voltages are, at once, played back in their raw form and re-synthesised into new digital sounds. The machine is autonomous in that it chooses how to respond to the body on stage by analysing its physiological processes. The body movements influence the choices of the machine, but cannot control what the machine will do.

The corporeal sound frequencies are spatialised across multiple loudspeakers and subwoofers surrounding the audience, while bioelectrical flashes of light rhythmically illuminate the body on stage. The combination of corporeal sound, light and bodily torsions produces a multisensory, pulsating rhythm that overwhelms the audience.  As in a trance-like experience, the pulsating rhythm induces visual and auditory effects: while the physical form of the body on stage seems to gradually mutate, its corporeal sound is felt as it was beating within the spectator’s bodies. The body parts – arms, legs, muscles, veins – are metaphorically taken apart and physically reorganised with the machine’s parts – the sensors, the light and the algorithms. Together, they form a novel kind of body, unknown and partial, disturbing and graceful.

Keywords: Sound art, body art, physiological computing, trance, ritual
Status: Touring

Corpus Nil photo gallery

  • Marco Donnarumma - Ominous Performance Art Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Ominous Performance Art Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Corpus Nil Performance Art Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Corpus Nil Performance Art Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Corpus Nil Performance Art Sound Art
  • Marco Donnarumma - Corpus Nil Performance Art Sound Art

Year of creation: 2015
Technique: biosensors, LED light, computer-processed sound, multi-channel diffusion, black paint
Duration: 20’00”
Dimensions: 4m x 14m x 6m

Marco Donnarumma - Corpus Nil Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Corpus Nil Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Corpus Nil Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Corpus Nil Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Corpus Nil Performance Art Sound Art
Marco Donnarumma - Corpus Nil Performance Art Sound Art

Exhibitions

  • ZKM:GLOBALE, Premiere, Karlsruhe, DE
  • NIME, New Interfaces for Musical Expression, Preview, Baton Rouge, LA, US

Credits

Marco Donnarumma – Concept, music, performance, programming
Baptiste Caramiaux – Additional programming
Margherita Pevere – Stage production & make up
Alessandro Altavilla – Camera