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Afasia documents the interactive mecatronic performance by the same title, put together with the recording of different enactments of the performance between 1999 and 2000. This is a singular adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey, taken by Marcel·li Antúnez Roca to his own visceral universe of colourful cybernetic fantasies. The video lies somewhere between gore and an intimate look at a mythic tale. With an agile montage and the exuberant audiovisual components of the spectacle, the video documents, summarises and records the fundamental features and elements of the original performance. Marcel·li wears a “dreskeleton”, a corporeal interface of exoskeletal nature, which allows him control of the rest of the elements: the video images in a sort of scenic cyclorama (digital animations and closed circuit recordings), the interventions of four sound and kinetic robots in the proscenium, and other variables in sound and light.
A piece of software specifically written for this piece has made it possible to control and process in real time all the elements above described. The title of the piece, Afasia / Aphasia (that is, alteration of spoken or written language, caused by brain damage) refers to the nonverbal conception of the piece itself, to its nonlinear narrativity. The video thus presents a kind of collision montage, directed by the interactive dramaturgy of the performance. In the artist’s web page we can find the following statement: “The original verse [of Homer’s narrative poem] is replaced by a wide interactive apparatus that places the viewer in front of, for example, a psychedelic island of lotophagi, an animated Circe or the sirens carrying out an orgiastic rite.”
As is the case in other works by Antúnez, this piece is the result of a team effort, which included the contributions of Alain Wergifosse, Sergi Jorda and Ian Britton in sound, Roland Olbeter in the design of the robots, the dreskeleton-interface and the scenography, Paco Corachán as co-author of the animated pieces, Ramón Rey in light design and in the cybernetic orthopedy, Toni Aguilar and S. Jorda in all that has to do with interactive programming, and Andy Davies, Nico Nubiola and Toni Anglada in the production of the incidental videos.