Fronte Vacuo://Marco Donnarumma (IT/DE) Humane Methods [℧r]

Performance – world premiere, 2020

With ℧r, Marco Donnarumma continues his dramaturgical journey into the nexus of bodies,
sounds and machines. As a new rhizome of the project Humane Methods, ℧r reflects on
violence as a foundation of current algorithmic societies: a violence of instructions, of
systems, of infrastructures created with the specific purpose of abusing all living beings.
Such systems work through loops, through organized repetitions of machines and of
humans. Humans make instructions, machines repeat instructions, living things suffer
instructions, on and on and on.

℧r is a solo performance for a Faceless body, AI algorithm, lights and the vibrational force of
sound. Embodied in Donnarumma’s musical instrument XTH Sense, an interactive, machine
learning algorithm transforms the inner sound of muscles, blood, and bones into a real-time
choreography of movement, sounds and light. The piece combines multi-sensorial
stimulation with human-computer interaction and somatic practices to test the seeming
impossibilities of movement and repetition.

℧r is a walk in the dark. A thin body walks while a dim light shines. Soil is between them and
a rope connects them. Gazeless, the figure walks and prays, walks and prays, walks and, as
if entranced, pries into the darkness. The walk is a loop, a prayer, an aggression, an
annihilation and a transformation. The flesh of the Nameless’ limbs is amplified,
microphones onto the muscular tissue. The inner tension resounds in the rising brightness.
Movement is sound, repeat; sound is vibration, repeat; vibration is pressure, repeat;
pressure is released.

A grinding howling grows ominously, repetition turns into dysfunction, brightness turns into
blindness. Is the Unnamed going to reach the light and burn, just as moths do?

Production by Fronte Vacuo, directed and performed by Marco Donnarumma

Development: Fronte Vacuo (Donnarumma, Pevere, Familari)
Choreography, performance, biophysical music: Marco Donnarumma
Ephemeral graft: Margherita Pevere
Interactive learning technologies: Baptiste Caramiaux
Light design: Andrea Familari
Tour management: René Dombrowski

This work has been commissioned and produced by KONTEJNER, as part of Re-Imagine
Europe, co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.
Co-funded by the Digital Culture Programme of the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Fronte Vacuo://Marco Donnarumma (IT/DE)

Marco Donnarumma is an artist, performer and scholar weaving together contemporary performance, new media art and computer music since the early 2000s. He manipulates bodies, creates choreographies, engineers technology and composes sounds, combining disciplines and media into an oneiric, sensual, uncompromising aesthetics. He is internationally acknowledged for solo performances, stage productions and installations where the body becomes a morphing language to speak critically of ritual, power and technology.

In 2019, he co-founded the artists group Fronte Vacuo with Margherita Pevere and Andrea Familari. Their first series of performances, Humane Methods, exposes the violence of today’s algorithmic societies and brings to the stage human performers, non-human organisms and AI-driven dramaturgy. Donnarumma’s own cycle of performances and installations, 7 Configurations, dissects the conflicts between AI and body politics through the relationships of four human performers and six AI prostheses. The works are currently touring in Europe and Asia.

Touring regularly for the past fifteen years across theaters, concert halls, festivals and museums worldwide, his repertoire received numerous acknowledgments, most recently: Digital Award at Romaeuropa Festival 2018 for Eingeweide; two awards at the Bains Numériques Biennial 2018, as well as the Award of Distinction (2nd prize) in Sound Art at Prix Ars Electronica 2017 for Corpus Nil; Artist of the Science Year 2018 by the German Federal Ministry of Research and Education for Amygdala.