Darren O'Donnell



Artist, Author, Director, Filmmaker, Writer


Darren O’Donnell is an urban cultural planner, novelist, essayist, playwright, filmmaker, performance director, and the Artistic and Founding Director of Mammalian Diving Reflex. His books include: Your Secrets Sleep with Me (2004); Social Acupuncture (2006), which argues for an aesthetic of civic engagement; and Haircuts by Children and Other Evidence for a New Social Contract (2018), which proposes the cultural sector as a site to pilot a new social contract with children. His performance works include Haircuts by Children, All the Sex I’ve Ever Had, The Children’s Choice Awards, and Teentalitarianism. His model for long-term collaboration with young people is being applied in London, Bochum, Milan, and Berlin. He is interested in expanding and rethinking the role that cultural intuitions play in the world, particularly around long-term engagement and collaborative friendships that extend into the community. His institutional collaborators have included the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, the Humboldt Forum, the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, the West Kowloon Cultural District, the London International Festival of Theatre, the Metropolitan Region of Rhine-Neckar, the Schauspielhaus Bochum, and the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art.

International Institute for Critical Studies in Improvisation, 2023

Related programs

Brunt Magazine (Artist)
Haircuts by Children (Artist)

Related people & organizations

Mammalian Diving Reflex (Group)

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