Artist talk in Dynjandi,
Skipholti 31, 105 Rvk
4PM - August 31st 2022

Making Art with Machines: Voices, Instruments, Bodies and Sound  

This summer the Intelligent Instruments Lab had a few visiting researchers and two of them, Marco Donnarumma and Jonathan Reus, will present their work as part of the lab’s birthday activities (which include a concert in Mengi the day after, on September 1st). Marco and Jon are interdisciplinary artists grounded in musical practice, but navigating the fields of multimedia, performance art, theatre, design, prosthesis, embodiment and artificial intelligence.  

Each presentation will last about half an hour, followed by refreshments and a panel session with the two artists. The panel chair will be Thor Magnusson and we will be joined by Guðbjörg R. Jóhannesdóttir and Jóhannes Dagsson, both experts in artistic research and philosophy.  

Topics discussed during the panel will include:  

  • Body art and prosthesis via technology  

  • Performance and embodiment in digital art  

  • Artificial intelligence as artistic technology (why do we use it?)  

  • The place of interdisciplinarity in contemporary art  

  • The role of technology in cultural and political events in society (ethics and anthropology)  

Marco Donnarumma - Performing AI - bodies, sounds and machines

"In this talk I will discuss some of my artworks with machine learning, robotics and AI reflecting on the particular techno-cultural contexts in which they were created. The discussion of the works will span the past decade, hopefully offering some insight into the shifting meanings of AI in public discourse. On one hand, this will provide a look into some of the possible approaches to computational agency in the media and performing arts. On the other hand, the discussion may help us trace connections among cultural conceptions of otherness, media art as critical research and capital-driven technological development."

Jonathan Chaim Reus - Something about Being Human 

"My talk will jump around a diverse trajectory of artworks I have worked on over the past five years, from attempts to break open human sensoriums to performing with robotic tape machine instruments and some things in between. In my work I often try to challenge the existence of a single story of science or technology. I will try to touch on this, as well as talk a bit about how musical instruments, as well as datasets and AI systems, encode and remix traces of human lives."

About the artists


Marco Donnarumma

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

Donnarumma holds a Ph.D. in performing arts, computing and body theory from Goldsmiths, University of London. In 2020-21 he was a Research Fellow at the Akademie­ für Theater ­und Digitalität, Dortmund. Previously, in 2016-18, he was Research Fellow at Berlin University of the Arts in partnership with the Neurorobotics Research Laboratory. His writings embrace performance studies, body theory, aesthetics, human–computer interaction and unconventional computing. In 2019, he co-founded the artist group Fronte Vacuo. 


Jonathan Chaim Reus

Jonathan Chaim Reus is a transmedia artist and musician known for his se of experimental media instrumentation in live, theatrical and installation contexts. He was born in New York and thereafter lived in Amsterdam and then Florida, where he became involved in the American “new weird” folk-art scene. Years later he moved to the Netherlands where he began to develop a uniquely intimate live music practice combining improvisation and media art. He is co-founder of the instrument inventors initiative [iii] in the Hague, and of Netherlands Coding Live [nl_cl], and a recipient of the W. J. Fulbright Fellowship for his research into new electronic music instruments at the former Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music [STEIM] in Amsterdam. 

Reus has received commissions as a composer from Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Slagwerk Den Haag percussion ensemble, and Asko-Schönberg contemporary music ensemble, including composing original music for and performing with robotic tape machine instruments in Brave New World 2.0, a nationally-touring ensemble production. Together with Sissel Marie Tonn he is one part of the artist duo Sensory Cartographies, whose wearable sound installation The Intimate Earthquake Archive, won honorable mention at Ars Electronica festival in 2020. In 2022 he won the CTM Radiolab commission for the year-long generative radio project »In Search of Good Ancestors / Ahnen in Arbeit«, airing on Germany’s national broadcasting service, Deutschlandfunk Kultur.