CAC · Co-production | ALIA: ZǓ TÀI

Chronus Art Center (CAC) and CTM Festival are pleased to announce ALIA: ZǓ TÀI, 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 2017-2018 Goethe-Institut's International Coproduction Fund, the project will be co-produced across China and Germany by CAC (Shanghai) and CTM Festival (Berlin). The piece will premiere in winter 2018 and then tour worldwide.

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 behavior, 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?


Marco Donnarumma: AI Esthetics & Prothetics Workshops. Courtesy of the artist.


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.


Marco Donnarumma: Amygdala, 2017-present. Photo by Margherita Pevere. Courtesy of the artist.


The realisation of ALIA: ZǓ TÀI will be 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).


About the Co-production Partners



Chronus Art Center (CAC) is China’s first nonprofit art organization dedicated to the presentation, research, creation, and scholarship of media art. Through exhibitions, residency-oriented fellowships, lecture, and workshop programs, and through its archiving and publishing initiatives, CAC creates a multifaceted and vibrant platform for discourse, production, and dissemination of media art in a global context. CAC is positioned to advance artistic innovation and cultural awareness by critically engaging with media technologies that are transforming and reshaping contemporary experiences.



CTM Festival (Berlin, DE) is one of the world’s leading international festivals dedicated to contemporary electronic and experimental music. Founded in 1999 and running in close synergy with transmediale – festival for digital art & culture, CTM covers a wide range of sonic and music practices, and interdisciplinary projects that combine music, performance, and visual arts with digital culture, critical theory, and new technologies.



Marco Donnarumma (Berlin, DE) is a unique presence across contemporary performance and media art, distinguished by his use of emerging technology to deliver performances that are at once intimate and powerful, oneiric and uncompromising, sensual and confrontational. Working with biotechnology, body sensing, as well as artificial intelligence and neurorobotics, Donnarumma expresses the chimeric 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.



Nunu Kong (Shanghai, CN) 

Working as an choreographer, performing artist and an independent producer, Nunu Kong develops through her work an characteristic expression playing with time and space in poetic and illusionary dimensions in both visual and dramaturgic levels with a particular sense of humor instinctively blended into her choreography. Her recent projects including Trumpet Upside Down Dancing in Air - a series of endurance performance actions where she tests her body limitations and reassess the physics of sound by attempting to play a trumpet while suspending herself upside-down from significant height.


About the Goethe-Institut’s International Coproduction Fund



International co-productions epitomize a form of artistic collaboration involving partnership and dialogue. Aiming to encourage new collaborative working processes and innovative productions involving international cultural exchange, the Goethe-Institut set up a new co-production fund in the summer of 2016 to promote new working networks and approaches within a global context, and to explore new forms of intercultural collaboration.

Link to ALIA: ZǓ TÀI on the Goethe-Institut’s website: