Protomembrana: A Mecatronic Performance

Marcel·li Antunez
To add a paper, Login.

Protomembrana is a mechatronic* performance that describes the formal topography of Systematurgy. Systematurgy is the methodology I use to produce and execute my mechatronic performances and some of my installations.

As my career has progressed, I realise that many of the elements that were initially intuitive have ended up taking shape; that is my work. From this point of view, innovation is not only important but also the process of reflecting on what has already been done. My work configures a system, not only because of its methodology, or technology perhaps, but also because of its scope.

The advent of computation has caused the emergence of complex situations: impossible synchronicities, ubiquitous means of communication... This technological revolution basically raises one issue: complexity can be organised in infinite ways thanks to computation. It was some time ago that I became aware of this fact and little by little I have developed interfaces, programmes and devices that live on this reality.

The Systematurgy, (literally, the dramaturgy of computation systems) that I describe and develop in the Protomembrana conference, sets out a methodology which describes four complementary fields: context, interface, computation and means of representation.

The Protomembrana conference alternates different image and sound animation techniques with the explanations that I give about each of the different fields. Protomembrana is displayed by means of a projection screen and a PA system linked to two computers, a dynamic image capture interface and the Joydreske, which is a reduced dreskeleton (an exoskeletal body interface) as well as other technical devices.

Through the description of Systematurgy, Protomembrana provides a metaphorical and critical interpretation of certain behavioural patterns as well as social and body topographies.

*Mechatronics is an integrated discipline using mechanical, electronic and information technologies to provide us with improved products, processes and systems.

Keywords: Mechatronic, Systematurgy, Performance, Conference, Dreskeleton, Paracitebots, Emotive Spaces, Pain Orchestra, Behavioural Patterns
Stream: Arts Agendas, Analysing Artforms, Other or Stream Unspecified
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Marcel·li Antunez

Person Attendance, Artista, Panspermia S.L.
Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Marcel.lí Antúnez Roca (Moià, 1959) is well-known in the international art scene for his mechanotronic performances and robotic installations.
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. 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. 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.

Ref: A06P0392