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September 18, 2006

Marcel.lí Antúnez Roca



Performance calendar :: A mechatronic conference presenting the Dedalus project and its micro performances at zero gravity as well as the Transpermia theory.

Using the Space Station as a metaphor, Marcel.lÌ Ant·nez Roca has developed a hybrid show alternating performance, concert and lecture. It is structured in different modules. During the show Ant·nez wears his Dreskeleton (an exoskeletal body interface) and with it he samples, activates and modulates sounds as well as controlling the films projected on two screens. In the first module he presents some of the mechanical aspects characteristic of his work such as the Fleshbots, the Dreskeletons, the Biometries and the Systematurgy. The second module takes us through recurrent images in his work. The third module reveals the end result of the process of preparation for the Dedalus project in Star City in the Russian Federation as well as the micro performances that were carried out during periods of microgravity provided by the parabolas.

In these micro performances we witness the Requiem bodybot experiment and the interaction between the dreskeleton, the softbot and the interactive films. The last module presents the Transpermia theory and at this point the performance becomes more like a conference. Ant·nez proposes a new landscape for a Utopia called Transpermia. He describes some of his prototypes organized in 4 sections:

1 Interface: new devices with which to perceive the world and take part in it
2 Robots: machines as metaphors for life
3 Fleeting Identities: transitory states of personality as a setting for new experiences and knowledge
4 New Creations: models of activity in the Transpermia Utopia.


Marcel.lí Antúnez Roca (Moià, 1959) is well-known in the international art scene for his mechanotronic performances and robotic installations. In the nineties his avantguard mechatronic performances combined such elements as Bodybots (body-controlled robots), Systematugy (interactive narration with computers) and dresskeleton (the exoskeleton body interface). The themes explored in his work include: the use of biological materials in robotics, as in JoAn? l’home de carn (1992); telematic control on the part of a spectator of an alien body in the performance EPIZOO (1994); the expansion of body movements with dresskeletons (exoskeletical interfaces) sed in the performances AFASIA (1998) and POL (2002); involuntary choreography with the bodybot REQUIEM (1999); and microbiological ansformations in the installations RINODIGESTIO (1987) and AGAR (1999). He is currently working on the spatial and utopian artwork TRANSPERMIA.

In the early nineties his performance EPIZOO caused a commotion in the international art scene. For the first time a performer’s body movements could be controlled by the audience. By operating a videogame, a spectator interacts with the bodybot worn by Antúnez, moving his buttocks, pectoral muscles, mouth, nose and ears. This performance stresses the ironical, and even cruel, paradox rising from the coexistence between virtual digital iniquity and the performer’s physical vulnerability.

Since the eighties, Antúnez’s work has been based on a continuous observation of how human desires are expressed and in what specific situations they appear. First in the tribal performances of La Fura del Baus and later, on his own, he expressed this interest by creating complex, in many cases hybrid, systems hard to classify. Antúnez’ works belong to the fields of both visual and scenic arts.

From the early nineties, the incorporation and transgression of scientific and technological elements in Antúnez’ work, and their interpretation by means of unique and specific devises, have produced a new cosmogony - warm, raw and ironic - of traditional themes such as affection, identity, or death. In his works these elements take on an extremely human dimension that causes a spontaneous reaction in the audience. He was also founding member of La Fura dels Baus, he worked in this company as art co-ordinator, musician and performer from 1979 to 1989, and presented the group’s macro-performances ACCIONS (1984), SUZ/O/SUZ (1985) and TIER MON (1988).

Posted by jo at September 18, 2006 04:51 PM