Marcel·lí Antúnez studied Fine Arts at the Universitat de Barcelona. A multidisciplinary practitioner, he is one of the leading figures in the field of electronic art and experimental scenography. In the eighties, he was the founder and leader of the company La Fura dels Baus, which popularised action theatre. With Sergi Caballero and Pau Nubiola, he founded the group Los Rinos, initially focusing on graffiti. Later, his activity extended to painting, video action performance, the concert and wall installation, such as Rinodigestió (1987), a system of interconnected wooden and glass boxes containing decaying organic matte. In the nineties, he began to focus on the visual arts and video, and their interaction with technology. Since then, he has created a unique iconoclastic universe based on the incorporation of computational and electronic systems. His mechatronic performances and interactive installations incorporate robots and all kinds of electronic systems.
Often applied to the human body, they are described as Sistematurgia. His graphic work production features unusual materials such as human fluids, foodstuffs, textual and visual elements, using the technique of collage and improvisation.
He has created installations and performances in museums, galleries, theatres and unconventional spaces in more than 40 countries, among which are the European Museum of Photography of la Ville De Paris, the Institute of Contemporary Arts of London, the DAF of Tokyo, the MACBA of Barcelona or the ZDB of Lisbon. His work includes Macatronic performances, on occasion with robots, interactive installations and collaborations with collectives among which the most noteworthy is la Fura Dels Baus of which he was the founder and leader in the 80s. His works have been mentioned in multiple publications throughout the world. Antúnez has recieved, among others, the following prizes and distinctions: First Prize in the Etrange Festival Paris 1994, Best New Media Noveaux Cinéma Noveaux Médias Montreal 1999, Max Prize, Spain 2001, FAD Prize 2001 Barcelona, Mención d’Honor a Prix Ars Electronica 2003, Premi Ciutat de Barcelona en 2004.
Since 2010 Marcel•lí has been working on what he calls l’Arsenale della Apparizioni in which he includes his last three pieces, the first is a performance called Cotrone (2010), a film El Peix Sebastiano released in the Stiges Film Festival and his last performance, Pseudo (2012), first performed at the Grec in Barcelona.
In 2014 he presented the exhibition Sistematurgia. Actions, Devices and Drawings, in the Arts Santa Mònica de Barcelona, with the intention of making known his personal method of creation based on this neologism, Sistematurgia, understood as a dramaturgy of computational systems.
“Alfabeto” comprises a wooden column with tactile sensors, a platform, an audio system and a computer system. A radar detects the presence of the spectator in the room and when someone comes in the pillar moans. When the user finally touches or embraces the column, it utters sounds. They are onomatopoeic sounds organized in four emotive states: anguish, pleasure, happiness and pain. A sensor situated in the top part of the column identifies and chooses the "emotive state".
Alfabeto emphasizes the idea of body interaction; the size of the trunk, its acoustic reaction and the need to take part physically all encourage the spectator to become involved in the game.
It is normal to become emotional when listening to music or to cry when watching a film. These devices are good substitutes for human emotions. However, our relationship towards artistic devices is almost always passive. Alphabet, on the contrary, is an emotional prosthesis and, by its reaction, it invites us to shake off our passive receptor role and to become emotional players.