Nigredo // Private experience of altered self-perception and biophysical media (Xth Sense) // Marco Donnarumma
Live recordings from a preview of the work at STEIM (NL), February 2013.
Developed during a residency at STEIM, Nigredo is a private 8 minute artwork to be experienced by one visitor at a time. The work explores how perceptual deprivation affects alterity, or otherness, that is the aware distinction between self and not-self.
The work uses ad hoc biophysical methods and wearable bioacoustic technology to stimulate a continuous sensorial feedback within the visitor’s own body. In a small, blacked out room a visitor sits alone facing a mirror, and wired to on-body sensors. The low frequency sound pulses produced by the visitor's heart, muscular and vascular tissues are captured, augmented and fed back into the subject’s sensory system as new auditive, visual, and physical stimuli. Intense surround sound, pulsating lights, and mechanical vibrations are diffused through the subject’s ears, eyes, bones, and skull. The combined skeletal resonance, sound stimuli, and light pulses produce a constant and intense stimulation field that alters the movement of the internal organs, and the behaviour of the optical nerves. The perception of one own's visual image and physical body mutates. It is an experience taking place between viscera and perception.
In analytical psychology the Nigredo is a metaphor of the moment of despair and disillusionment caused by an ever deepening descent into the dark unknowns of the subconscious mind. The Nigredo represents the key to the psychological process of integrating the conscious with the unconscious.
Concept, composition, and realisation // Marco Donnarumma
Hardware engineering // Marije Baalman
Tech support // Lucas Norer
Visitors' assistant // Ida Toft
Videography // Tanja Busking vimeo.com/tanjabusking
Tanja gives thanks to:
Jonathan Reus and STEIM, for making this production possible, and for introducing me to Marco, who inspired me to make the video as it is right now.