Marco Donnarumma

Artist description

A unique presence across contemporary performance and media art, Marco Donnarumma distinguishes himself by his use of emerging technology to deliver artworks that are at once intimate and powerful, oneiric and uncompromising, sensual and confrontational. Working with biotechnology, biophysical sensing, as well as artificial intelligence and neurorobotics, Donnarumma expresses the chimerical nature of the body with a new and unsettling intensity. He is renown for his focus on sound, whose physicality and depth he exploits to create experiences of instability, awe, shock and entrainment.

Amygdala MKI is a prototype for an artificially intelligent (AI) robot in the form of an uncanny human-like limb exhibited in a glass box. Disturbing and yet sensual, its shape is that of a human-machine hybrid from a not too distant future. Amygdala‘s only skill is to learn how to perform a ritual of purification known as “skin-cutting”. This rite, found across tribes in locations across Papua New Guinea, Africa and Asia consists of cutting one’s skin in specific patterns. The robot teaches itself the cognitive and physical discipline required to perform the ritual by training different kinds of cutting on its own body. By combining a key symbol of human ancient history with the emblem of today’s technocratic society, Amygdala is a living, paradoxical symbol of human condition in late capitalism. Amygdala is a work by Marco Donnarumma in collaboration with Neurorobotics Research Laboratory and Ana Rajcevic Studio.