Marco Donnarumma
Since 2009
Works in Edinburgh United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Italian-born Marco Donnarumma is a performer, musician and writer based in London. He explores the dimensions of the human body in relation to real, virtual and cultural spaces through performances, concerts and installations. In his works, sound, machines and biology are configured so to integrate human and technological bodies into new living instances. His practice is considered a conceptually elaborated combination of physical actions, intense sonic experiences and forceful sensorial stimulation.

Marco 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 (ISEA, Venice Biennale, Sónar+D, ISCM World Music Days), festivals (Transmediale, FILE, Panorama, NYEAF, Sound Art China, CYNETART, Piksel), museums, institutions and labs (Museo Reina Sofia, CaixaForum Madrid, STEIM, IRCAM, EMPAC, Stanford CCRMA).

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 the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (MIT Press), in the book “New Art/Science Affinities” (CMU, Studio for Creative Enquiry), and several times in specialised conference proceedings, including CHI, NIME, ICMC, Pd Con, Linux Audio. Currently, as a PhD student 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.

Marco is a recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the first prize in the Guthman New Musical Instrument Competition (Georgia Tech, US, 2012) for the Xth Sense; the Transitio New Media Art Award (MX) for Nigredo, created with Marije Baalman; and fundings from 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). His projects have been reviewed on BBC, Forbes, Reuters, ARTE.TV, Wired, RTVE, El Pais, ResonanceFM, Weave, Create Digital Music, We Make Money Not Art and Digicult.
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Altered self-perception and incarnated performance in New York, Seoul, Amsterdam, Graz

Thu Apr 25, 2013 10:55 - Sun Jul 07, 2013

Dear friends and colleagues,
After 6 months of winter, we can now warm up our minds with a deserved spring.
Here we are with the fifth mailout April 2013.

- Nigredo: a new private work for altered self-perception created at STEIM
- New award: Creativity + Technology = Enterprise funded by Rockefeller Foundation
- [radical] signs of life: a large-scale, biophysical, interactive dance premiere at EMPAC
- Ominous, and other incarnated sounds in Graz, Seoul, Amsterdam, New York
- The Xth Sense featured on the BBC
- Biomuse (1990) meets Xth Sense (2010), wrapping 30 years of biotechnology in music

thanks for reading,
sincerely yours,
Marco Donnarumma


Biophysical Music Poland Tour - Bios@Techne@Art

Wed Mar 27, 2013 17:25 - Thu Apr 04, 2013


Curated by Maciej Ozog, Bios@Techne@Art is a program of performative events spanning 4 major cities in Poland. The aim is to foster discussion around the role of biotechnologies in performance art, and explore how such framework can inform the cultural perception of the body.

According to each venue, I'll be performing three diverse pieces of biophysical music for the open and free instrument Xth Sense:

- Music for Flesh II, solo piece for enhanced body
- Ominous, incarnated sound sculpture
- Hypo Chrysos, action art for vexed body

Works info

Xth Sense and biophysical music

Each concert will also see on stage:

- Maciej Ozog's Transient Body / Liminal Space,
- Gerard Lebik's Tractography Neural Tracts Noise



- 27.03.2013, 7 pm, Gdansk
Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Jaskółcza 1, 80-767 Gdansk, Poland

- 28.03.2013, 8 pm, Warsaw
Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle,
ul. Jazdów 2, 00-467 Warsaw, Poland

- 29.03.2013, 8 pm, Wroclaw
Falanster, ul. Św. Antoniego 23, 50-073 Wroclaw

- 02.04.2013, 7 pm, Lodz (Panel discussion)
Art Factory, ul. Tymienieckiego 3, 90-365 Lodz, Poland

- 03.04.2013, 8 pm, Lodz
Art Factory, ul. Tymienieckiego 3, 90-365 Lodz, Poland

For complete details to attend the events see:


Nigredo, new private work for altered self-perception and biomedia - STEIM Preview

Thu Feb 21, 2013 11:00 - Thu Feb 21, 2013

Amsterdam, Netherlands

if you find yourself in Amsterdam this week...

"Come join us before the opening ceremonies of Sonic Acts festival for the initial preview of new media and sound artist Marco Donnarumma’s latest work, Nigredo.

Nigredo (Marco Donnarumma, 2013), developed during a residency at STEIM, is designed as a private 8 minute artwork to be experienced by one visitor at a time. The work draws from studies in analytical psychology, human sensory system, and biotechnology so to create an intimate and uncanny experience of one’s internal self.

The work uses ad hoc biofeedback methods and wearable bioacoustic technology to create feedback systems within the visitor’s own body through sound (bioacoustics) and bioelectric signals. The senses are heightened beyond their natural threshold, so as to induce an intense experience between viscera and perception.

The term Nigredo comes originally from alchemy, where it is referred to as putrefaction or decomposition. In order to create the philosopher’s stone, alchemists would produce a homogeneous black matter by slowly cooking all their ingredients at once. Later in the framework of analytical psychology, the term Nigredo became a metaphor for the moment of despair and disillusionment caused by a spiralling descent into the dark unknowns of the subconscious mind.

The techniques used in this artwork are completely safe, however, be aware that the work includes high sound pressure level, pulsating lights, and induced body vibration."



Private showings will happen every ten minutes from 11h-14h and 15h-18h
Due to the limited number of available slots it is recommended to reserve in advance.
Book your slot at the bottom of this page:


DATE: 21 FEB 2013

TIME: Five showings per hour, one every 10 minutes
11h – 14h
15h – 18h


LOCATION: STEIM, Achtergracht 19, Amsterdam

Hope to see some of you there,
best wishes,


Three biomedia performances in Rio de Janeiro: sonic, vexed, networked bodies

Thu Nov 15, 2012 19:00 - Sun Nov 18, 2012

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

(Sorry for x-post)

SARC (Sonic Arts Research Center) and Multiplicidade Festival
with the support of the Transform initiative by the British Council

In Rio de Janeiro, a night of biomedia performances with Anna Weisling, Miguel Ortiz, and Marco Donnarumma.


- Dentro, a music performance for brainwaves and hear-trate biointerface (Ortiz)
- Liminal Corpus (world premiere), audio-visual trio for Xth Sense and networked biological bodies (Weisling, Ortiz, Donnarumma)
- Hypo Chrysos (South America premiere), action art for vexed body and biophysical media (Donnarumma)

Learn about the work on-line:

WHEN: h 19.00, Thursday 15th November 2012

WHERE: PANORAMA Performance Festival, Centro de Artes Helio Oiticica, Rio De Janeiro


Curated by Batman Zavarese for Multiplicidade, organized by SARC, with the support of British Council.


Hope to see some of you there,
best wishes,


Ominous, new work for the Xth Sense at the 5th Live Electronic Music Competition, ECPNM, BE

Fri Nov 02, 2012 15:40 - Sun Nov 04, 2012

Antwerp, Belgium

Dear all,

A novel piece for the Xth Sense [1], my visceral biophysical instrument, was commissioned by ECPNM (European Conference of Promoters of New Music), in occasion of the finals of the 5th Live Electronic Music Project Competition, during the ISCM World New Music Days [2].

The new work, titled "Ominous", is ready to be premiered tomorrow at De Singel concert hall, in Atwerp, BE.

"Ominous is a sculpture of incarnated sound... The performance embodies, before the audience, the metaphor of an invisible and unknown object enclosed in my hands. This is made of malleable sonic matter. Similarly to a mime, I model the object in the empty space by means of whole-body gestures. The natural sound of my muscles and its virtual counterpart blend together into an unstable sonic object... The listeners see through sound the sculpture which their sight cannot perceive."

Tags: multidimensional gesture, machine learning, muscle sounds, visceral embodiment.

Read more at:

Also on stage tomorrow John Eckhardt, one of the most fascinating performers of the contemporary music scene.

best wishes,


Picture courtesy of Vipul Sangoi.