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

Performer, new media and sound artist, teacher, Marco Donnarumma was born in Italy and is based in London. He is a PhD student at Goldsmiths, University of London, funded by the European Research Council and supervised by Prof. Atau Tanaka and Dr. Matthew Fuller.

Marco looks at the collision of critical creativity with humanized technologies. He is known for his body-based performance works with custom open biotechnologies and physical interactive systems. He is a Harvestworks Creativity + Technology = Enterprise Fellow (New York, US) with support by the Rockefeller Foundation.

Marco has performed and spoken in 50 countries including US and South America, Europe, India, China, South Korea and Australia. His works have been selected at leading art events (ISEA, Venice Biennale, WRO Biennale), specialized festivals and venues (FILE, Panorama, EMPAC, New York Electronic Arts Festival, Sonorities, Némo, Mapping, Piksel, Re-New, Laboral) and major academic conferences (NIME, ICMC, Pure Data Convention, Linux Audio Conference @ Stanford CCRMA, SICMF). He curated a comprehensive journal publication on biotech and performing arts entitled Biotechnological Performance Practice (eContact! 14.2). His writings have appeared in the Leonardo Electronic Almanac (MIT Press), in the book “New Art/Science Affinities” (CMU and Studio for Creative Enquiry, US), and several times in specialised conference proceedings.

His biophysical system Xth Sense won the 1st prize in the Margaret Guthman Musical Instrument Competition (Georgia Tech, US). He has been artists in residence at STEIM (NL), Inspace (UK), and National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance (DK). His work has been funded by the European Commission, British Council, Creative Scotland, New Media Scotland, and the Danish Arts Council. His projects have been reviewed on BBC, Reuters, Wired, RTVE, El Pais, Weave, Create Digital Music, We Make Money Not Art, Rhizome, and Digicult.

Currently, he investigates how body theory can provide perspectives on the design of combined biosensing and machine learning technologies for music and the performing arts.
Discussions (2) Opportunities (7) Events (38) Jobs (0)

Making music with muscles - Interview on Weave Interaction Design

Wed Jun 01, 2011 00:55 - Thu Jun 30, 2011

Marco Donnarumma interviewed for a printed issue of Weave, a German interaction design magazine.
The article is about the Xth Sense framework (; the author's idea of a biophysical music, its development, etc...
Some issues about technology and interactivity were raised at some point.
Here's the full interview (in English).
Thanks for reading, sharing and commenting, if you wish.


Raw/Roar - Intermedia dance piece for enhanced bodies - DK

Sun Jun 05, 2011 11:00 - Sun Jun 05, 2011

Copenhagen, Denmark

The Danish National School of Theatre and Contemporary Dance Supported by The Danish Arts Council and Augustinus Fonden presents:
::::::: Host Guest Ghost, final event ::::::::
Sunday 5th June11.00 hDansehallerne, Copenhagen, DK.
HGG is a series of artistic residencies. 
The project aim at fostering experimental approaches to dance, theatre and interactive technologies while forming emerging, talented choreographers and creatives.
HGG #2 was directed by new media and sonic artist, performer and teacher Marco Donnarumma. Together with a team of 6 dancers, 3 musicians and a professional chef, they developed a new intermedia piece titled "Raw/Roar".
The piece will unveil a peculiar, unique world of enhanced bodies, biophysical sound, augmented music and reactive videos.
Among the different media and technologies explored during the residency, the main focus was set on the open source-based Xth Sense, developed by Marco Donnarumma.
Xth Sense is a set biophysical sensors which augment human body by transducing kinetic energy in sound, music and control data for variable media.
Project info:
Xth Sense:
Director's portfolio:


Marco Donnarumma Augmented Media Performance @ WRO Biennale 13th May

Fri May 13, 2011 19:00 - Fri May 13, 2011

Wroclaw, Poland

I Cntrl Nature | Audiovisual concert for augmented electric bass guitar, self-designed software and butterfly
I Cntrl Nature (Marco Donnarumma, 2009) is an unambiguous, synesthetic action of audiovisual improvisation.The live act represents the sarcastic celebration of the human instinct finally able to govern the nature. The improvised body gestures of the performer sculpt in real-time the soundscape and the moving images. The living creature on the screen reacts to the movements of the performer on stage in a mutual agreement and attraction.
Work info:
Author info:
The WRO Biennal is the leading international forum for new media art in Poland and Central Europe.
Other artists performing at WRO2011:
Stelarc, Istvan Kantor, Incite, Noriko Yamaguchi, Cécile Babiole.
Other upcoming events


Live Media Concert I C::ntr::l Nature at Screenplay, plus artist talk, Berlin

Sat Apr 09, 2011 19:00 - Sat Apr 09, 2011

Berlin, Germany

I C::ntr::l Nature v3.0 
Audiovisual concert for augmented bass guitar, Xth Sense biosensing technology and butterfly
by Marco Donnarumma.
Saturday 9th April
h. 19.00
Panoramasaal, .CHB, Berlin
Panel discussions, performances and installations by Mia Makela, Pierce Warnecke, Yroyto, Olga Mink, Abstract Birds, Servando Barreiro among the others.
SCREENPLAY represents contemporary audiovisual art with special focus on generative or cinematographic performance as well as performance involving live-camera-feedback.
SCREENPLAY shows an eclectic selection of artists who explore aestetic principles on the frontiers of new technologies, interactive story-telling and the interplay of audio and video.
Artist Talk
Saturday 9th April
h 20.30
NK, Berlin
Donnarumma will present some of his works, all deploying self-designed, Pure Data-based software, eventually focusing on the ongoing research project for biophysical live media 'Xth Sense'.


Workshop: Xth Sense Biophysical Music at NK Berlin

Wed Apr 06, 2011 11:00 - Fri Apr 08, 2011

Berlin, Germany

LAST CALL for Participation:
April 6, 7, 8 2011
Xth Sense – biophysical generation and control of music
Elsenstr. 52/
2.Hinterhaus Etage 2
12059 Berlin Neukölln
The workshop offers an hands-on experience and both theoretical and practical training in gestural control of music and bodily musical performance, deploying the brand-new biosensing technology Xth Sense.

Developed by the workshop teacher Marco Donnarumma within a research project at The University of Edinburgh, Xth Sense is a framework for the application of muscle sounds to the biophysical generation and control of music.
It consists of a low cost, DIY biosensing wearable device and an Open Source based software for capture, analysis and audio processing of biological sounds of the body (Pure Data-based).
Muscle sounds are captured in real time and used both as sonic source material and control values for sound effects, enabling the performer to control music simply with his body and kinetic energy.
Forget your mice, MIDI controllers, you will not even need to look at your laptop anymore.

The Xth Sense biosensor was designed to be easily implemented by anyone, no previous experience in electronics is required.
The applications of the Xth Sense technology are manifold: from complex gestural control of samples and audio synthesis, through biophysical generation of music and sounds, to kinetic control of real time digital processing of traditional musical instruments, and more.

Firstly, participants will be introduced to the Xth Sense Technology by its author and led through the assembling of their own biosensing wearable hardware using the materials provided.
Next, they will become proficient with the Xth Sense software framework: all the features of the framework will be unleashed through practical exercises.
Theoretical background on the state of art of gestural control of music and new musical instruments will be developed by means of an audiovisual review and participatory critical analysis of relevant projects selected by the instructor.
Eventually, participants will combine hardware and software to implement a solo or group performance to be presented during the closing event.
At the end of the workshop, participants will be free to keep the Xth Sense biosensors they built and the related software for their own use.

Perspective participants
The workshop is open to anyone passionate about sound and music. Musical background and education does not matter as long as you are ready to challenge your usual perspective on musical performance.
Composers, producers, sound designers, musicians, field recordists are all welcome to join our team for an innovative and highly creative experience.

No previous experience in electronics or programming is required, however participants should be familiar with digital music creation. Participation is limited to 10 candidates.

Register by sending an email to

FULL PROGRAM available at…

Requirements and further info
Participants need to provide their own headphones, external soundcards and laptops with Pd-extended already installed.
Free download is available at

Musicians interested in augmenting their favourite musical instrument by means of body gestures are encouraged to bring their instrument along.

More information and a video of the latest Xth Sense performance can be viewed on-line at

6-7-8 April, 11.00-19.00 daily (6 hours sessions + 1 hour break)

EUR 90 including materials (EUR 15).
Picture Courtesy by Chris Scott at