Marco Donnarumma, Nunu Kong – 2018

Photo by Isla Kriss.

A co-commission between Chronus Art Center (CAC) and CTM Festival, "ALIA: ZǓ TÀI" is a performance project for human dancers, and AI prostheses ideated by Marco Donnarumma (Berlin) in collaboration with Nunu Kong (Shanghai). Thanks to the support of Goethe-Institut's International Coproduction Fund, the project is co-produced across China and Germany by CAC (Shanghai) and CTM Festival (Berlin). The piece will premiered at Berlin's HKW in winter 2018 and will see its Shanghai debut in spring 2019.

Taking its title from the Latin “alia” – the other – and the Chinese “zǔ tài” – configuration, "ALIA: ZǓ TÀI" is a dance and interactive music performance that aims to explore new hybrid identities emerging from the increasing use of artificial intelligence and robotics.

More and more, artificially intelligent (AI) algorithms and robots regulate human behaviour, human bodies and their relations, both at a social and personal level. Far from being passive commodities, “intelligent” software, body sensors, and robots drastically affect the physiological, experiential, psychological, and cultural basis of human life. How can these technologies influence the way we understand, categorize, and discriminate human consciousness and human bodies?

Three dancers wear three intelligent robots on their bodies. The robots are like prostheses, but behave according to their own agencies. The dancers and the machines thus engage in a re-discovery of the self and the other, transporting the audience into a thought-provoking, stirring, and poetic choreography of movement, sound, and light.


The realisation of ALIA: ZǓ TÀI is supported by an interdisciplinary team including: AI scientists Prof. Manfred Hild (DE) and Dr. Baptiste Caramiaux (FR), interactive music composer Prof. Alberto de Campo (DE), and designer Ana Rajcevic (UK/DE). ALIA: ZǓ TÀI is additionally supported by Graduiertenschule, UdK Berlin (DE), Neurorobotics Research Laboratory (DE), Baltan Laboratories (NL), Center for Contemporary Art “Laznia” (PL), and Resonans Festival (DK).