The Reading Room #14 – Becoming Monstrous part II


October 14th 2016
Location:  Stroom Den Haag
Guest Readers:  Maciej Ozog, Marco Donnarumma

Texts: Rosi Braidotti, Joanna Zylinska, Vivian Sobchack, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Following: The Reading Room #13 – Becoming Monstrous part I

Becoming Monstrous – A Species for Which We Do Not Yet Have a Name

The concept of the technological body, a term originally coined by Donna Haraway, refers to an amalgam of biology and technology which co-constitute an individual subject. This notion has by and large invaded and submitted to the mainstream cultural imagination. Through the celebration of body-machines, cell-machines, and bio-systems of the future the technological body, a very real thing, has become an object of spectacle and of horror. Simultaneously, as forces of thought within queer-, gender- and bio-politics engage in a highly critical investigation of these systems, artistic practice potentially offers another way of thinking, navigating both aesthetic and critical dimensions to draw out the fault lines between body, prosthetics and power; becoming cyborg and becoming monstrous. But how to proceed?

For this cluster of reading rooms we are happy to be joined by two guest readers whose research lies at the cutting edge of these themes, and will guide us in thinking through tools for artists to consider prostheses, technological extensions and biosystems beyond the self-perpetuating tropes of the sensational, spectacular and dystopian.

Please reserve a spot by sending an email to We will also provide you with a copy of the texts.

Invited Guests:

Dr. Maciej Ożóg is a sound artist and media theorist who has authored numerous articles concerning aesthetics of new media art, critical art, avant-garde film, video, and experimental music. His research focuses on surveillance studies, information and network society, tactical media, bio art and posthumanism. He is a lecturer at the Department of Electronic Media, University of Lodz, Poland, and in 2007 received a postdoctoral grant from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education for the project “Surveillance as Theme and Method of New Media Art”, with a book of the same title will published in 2015. In 2012 he received a grant from the National Science Centre for the research project “New Media Art as Critical Praxis”. Ozog is a member of Art & Science Meeting Project in the Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdansk, and is a member of the Inter-Society for Electronic Art, and Polish Society of Cultural Studies.

Marco Donnarumma is a unique presence in contemporary performance, distinguishing himself by his use of emerging technology to deliver body performances that are at once intimate and powerful, oneiric and uncompromising, sensual and confrontational. Working with biotechnology, biophysical sensing, and more recently artificial intelligence and neurorobotics, Donnarumma expresses the chimerical nature of the body with a new and unsettling intensity. He is renown for his skill in using sound, whose physicality and depth he exploits to create experiences of instability, awe, shock and entrainment.

Donnarumma holds a PhD in Computing from Goldsmiths, University of London and presently is a Research Fellow at the Universität der Künste Berlin. He is the editor of the first audiovisual anthology of biophysical music, published by the Computer Music Journal (MIT Press), and Biotechnological Performance Practice (eContact! 14.2), a comprehensive journal publication on biotech and the performing arts. Forthcoming books chapters will appear in the Oxford Handbook of Music and the Body (Oxford Univ. Press with Atau Tanaka) and in Unconventional Computing for Music (Springer).

The Reading Room is a series of reading groups revolving around short texts provided by invited guests – contemporary researchers, cultural theorists, philosophers and artists – who join us to provide insight and context to the topics at hand. The Reading Room is a joint cooperation between the artist-initiatives Platform for Thought in Motion and iii.

This edition of The Reading Room is made possible as part of the artist residency program hosted by iii in partnership with DCR guest studios and with the financial support of Stroom Den Haag and the Creative Industries Fund NL.