Futurism/post-Futurism: Art & Industry at the End of History & Beyond

This is yet another of the grad-school documents that have had some circulation online over the past twenty-five years. I’m collecting them here now largely as a matter of artistic documentation but it has certainly been interesting to dip back into the preoccupations, both political and aesthetic, of the early 90s. This is a considerably less polished production than some of the others I have archive, but it certainly has its moments. And, for those who have read my “Futurist Synthesis” poem, I suppose it may provide some glimpses into the mechanisms of that work.

Futurism/post-Futurism:

Art & Industry at the End of History & Beyond

Shawn P. Wilbur

I

“A Thousand Points of Triscuit”(?)

October 18, 1992

“AMERICA REACTION TODAY,” a showing of artwork by “regional artists,” opens at Grounds for Thought, Bowling Green’s center for caffeine and culture. The show consists of about a dozen works in a variety of styles and media, although collage predominates. This is Matthew A. Donahue’s most recent brainchild, the beginning of “THE ACCELERATED GHETTO RENAISSANCE,” and, like most M.A.D. productions, it emphasizes the politic and the postmodern.

Donohue himself has included an installation of Ross Perot memorabilia and photographs of Toledo’s giant Uncle Sam statue. (In one of the latter, the statue seems to have its middle finger extended, and we are forced to wonder to whom our favorite uncle is “giving the bird.”) The dollar sign dominates Phil Dickinson’s symbol for a “New World Order,” while David Wall’s “LBJ” seems to be pieced together primarily from cut up body parts. Nicol Kostic, Toledo mail-art organizer, has provided what appear to be xerographic collages, political dada. But the centerpiece of the show is assemblage called “A Thousand Points of Triscuit,” by “The Italian Futurists.” Consisting of a fluorescent light fixture, raised on cinderblocks and embellished with neat rows of Triscuit® (1000?), it dominates the small
gallery space in the back of the coffeeshop. And on this opening night, incense burns on the cinderblocks.

When I arrive, “The Italian Futurists” are there and Donohue makes the introductions. Then he wants to know if I have anything to add to the show. “So, man, if you come up with anything in the next couple of days, let me know. And, hey, get in touch if you need help with anything.” This is an accelerated renaissance indeed. With the final touches on the installation finished, Donohue and “The Italian Futurists” are out the door. It’s Miller Time, or something like that. I decline an invitation to join them and goodbyes are said, but I can’t let them go without asking one question. “I just want to know, which one of you is Marinetti and which is Boccioni. Let me guess. You’re Carra.” We all laugh and, just as they’re getting out of earshot, one of them shouts back.

The reply is unintelligible. I take it as an omen.

On November 3, I am once again with Donahue in front of “A Thousand Points of Triscuit.” This is the official “opening,” a reception while we watch election results. There is a small group gathered as President Bush makes his concession speech, and naturally the conversation turns to that other famous presidential address with which the assemblage in front of us has some mysterious connection. Between us, we have the ingredients of a very interesting tale.

It goes something like this: Peggy Noonan claims that she made up the phrase “a thousand points of light,” but that there was a widespread and immediate response to it, a disturbing sense that people had heard it before. Some of the attributions were embarrassing to the President, particularly the suggestion that the phrase was lifted from a Nazi oration. Noonan concludes that this confusion is with the phrase “the thousand year Reich,” which would be a bit of a stretch, while acknowledging that Thomas Wolfe did say something similar — “a thousand points of friendly light.” And, in closing, she mentions that William Safire had uncovered one other possible “source” — in the writings of an Italian “engineer” who was advocating electric lights for the  streets of Venice. [1] It is an afterthought, support for the innocence of the phrase. Little did she know (apparently) that the Italian “engineer” in question was F.T. Marinetti, “the caffeine of Europe,” Futurist and (eventually) Fascist.

From MARINETTI’S FUTURIST SPEECH TO THE VENETIANS:

Venetians!
When we cried out, “Let’s murder the moonshine!” we were thinking of you, old Venice soiled with romanticism! But now our voice grows louder, and we roar, “Let’s free the world from the tyranny of amore! We’re sick of erotic adventures, of lechery, sentimentality, and nostalgia!

. . . All this absurd, abominable and irritating nonsense nauseates us! And now we want electric lamps brutally to cut and strip away with their thousand point of light your mysterious, sickening, alluring shadows! [emphasis mine]

Your Grand Canal, widened and dredged, must become a great commercial port. Trains and trams, launched on wide roads built over canals that have finally been filled in, will bring you mountains of goods and a shrewd, wealthy, busy crowd of industrialists and businessmen!

Don’t howl against the so-called ugliness of locomotives, trams, automobiles, and bicycles, in which we see the first outlines of the great Futurist aesthetic. They can always serve to upset some horrible grotesque Nordic professor in his Tyrolean hat. [2]

And that’s the end of that particular story, ending almost simultaneously with George Bush’s hopes for promoting his particular “New World Order.” It suggests connections, without necessarily asserting “influence.” The commitment of the Reagan/Bush regime to “a shrewd, wealthy, busy crowd of industrialists and businessmen” takes on new meanings for us, thanks to
Noonan’s (inadvertent?) choice of phrase. Of course, “fascism” is a frequent enough charge leveled at the Right by the Left. And it is interesting to see who is really “influenced” by Marinetti and his movement — “The Italian Futurists,” and yours truly.

So our story isn’t really over — they never really are. But from here on we will delve deeper into the past — on the track of the (first) Italian Futurists — and then back toward the present — through various Futurisms and post-
futurisms to N.W. Ohio’s own (second) “Italian Futurists.” The path will be anything but straight. Time and direction become tricky at times. There is something that we might call the “postmodern divide” which we will have to cross — a (not quite fully present) boundary which might also mark the “end of history.” From the Italy of Marinetti and Mussolini, to the industrial/postpunk San Francisco scene and the (now liberated) Slovenia of Neue Slovenische Kunst — this is our route. Our subjects are art, industry and, naturally, the future.

November 23, 1992

“AMERICA REACTION TODAY” ended five days ago, but a few of the pieces remain in place. “A Thousand Points of Triscuit” is still there. And I’ve finally got my contribution together, or at least well-begun. Hey, Matt! I think I’ve got something for you. I’ll have it to you in a couple of days, man!

II

On To The Future

ENERGY+FEARLESSNESS

We stand on the last promontory of the centuries! … Why should we look back, when what we want is to break down the mysterious doors of the Impossible? Time and space died yesterday. We already live in the absolute, because we have created eternal, omnipresent speed. —F. T. Marinetti, “Manifesto of Futurism” [3]

If we are to take F. T. Marinetti at his word, Futurism began with a car crash. It ended, by most accounts, with its absorption into Italian Fascism. In between — roughly from 1909 through 1915 — was the “Futurist moment,” a dynamic period in which Marinetti and his compatriots created a new kind of explicitly modern, industrial art, and generally caused a stir across the European art world. [4]

There is not room here for an exhaustive history of Futurism. Such histories exist, and they are fascinating, but we have other fish to fry. [5] In particular, we are looking for the threads that bind together a Republican President, a Toledo, Ohio art collective and a young leftist cultural critic — yours truly. So we will have to satisfy ourselves a brief look at the “Futurist moment,” primarily as it appears in Marinetti’s manifestos, a quick survey from the “last promontory of the centuries.”

It starts with a car crash. Marinetti’s “The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism” begins amid opulence — “under hanging mosque lamps with domes of filigreed brass, domes starred like our spirits, shining like them with the prisoned light of electric hearts.” Marinetti and his friends have stayed up late into the night, “arguing up to the last confines of logic and blackening many reams of paper with our frenzied scribbling,” when it occurs to them that they are nearly alone in this night world. Nearly everyone else is asleep, except for those workers required to keep industrial machinery — specifically the steam-powered engines of trains and ships — running through the night. Their imaginations literally fired by these images, they respond to the rumble of passing trams and “the famished roar of automobiles,” racing in their cars to meet the dawn. [6]

Marinetti leaves no doubt that a moment of great importance is approaching. His prose grows increasingly frenzied.

“Friends away! Let’s go! Mythology and the Mystic Ideal are defeated at last. We’re about to see the Centaur’s birth and, soon after, the first flight of Angels! . . . We must shake the gates of life, test the bolts and hinges. Let’s go! Look there, on the earth, the very first dawn! There’s nothing to match the splendor of the sun’s red sword, slashing for the first time through our millennial gloom! [7]

The drive is a race with danger and death, an explicitly auto-erotic orgy of speed and mad abandon. Cars are “beasts” with “torrid breasts.” Dogs are
run down and tires burn. A steering wheel is described as “a guillotine blade that threatened my stomach.” But, Marinetti insists, the goal is not to die, or even to court Death. “[W]e had no ideal Mistress. . . nor any cruel Queen to whom to offer our bodies, twisted like Byzantine rings.” This is a hunt, and Death — a least the “domesticated” death of the Byzantine, amorous, feminine, past-loving world – is the quarry. [8]

Suddenly, Marinetti’s narrative takes a turn toward the slapstick. “Let’s give ourselves utterly to the unknown,” he cries, “not in desperation but only to replenish the deep wells of the Absurd!” And he spins his car around:

with the frenzy of a dog trying to bite its tail, and there, suddenly, were two cyclists coming towards me, shaking their fists, wobbling like two equally convincing but nevertheless contradictory arguments. Their stupid dilemma was blocking my way — damn! Ouch! . . . I stopped short and to my disgust rolled over into a ditch with my wheels in the air….

It is there, in the ditch, that Marinetti is reborn as a Futurist.

Oh! Maternal ditch, almost full of muddy water! Fair factory drain! I gulped down your nourishing sludge; and I remembered the blessed black breast of my Sudanese nurse. . . When I came up — torn, filthy, and stinking — from under the capsized car, I felt the white-hot iron of joy deliciously pass through my heart! [9]

Not only is he unscathed, but his car still runs. “They though it was dead, my beautiful shark, but a caress from me was enough to revive it; and there it was, alive again, running on its powerful fins!” And so he is on his way, to preach Futurism to “all the living of the earth.” [10]

This story is followed by the “Manifesto of Futurism,” an 11-point statement of aesthetic intent. A few of those points include:

1. We intend to sing the love of danger, the habit of energy and fearlessness. . . .

2. Up to now literature has exalted a pensive immobility, ecstasy, and sleep. We intend to exalt aggressive action, a feverish insomnia, the racer’s stride, the mortal leap, the punch and the slap. . . .

7. Except in struggle, there is no more beauty. no work without an aggressive character can be a masterpiece. Poetry must be conceived as a violent attack on unknown forces, to reduce and prostrate them before man. . . .

9. We will glorify war — the world’s only hygiene — militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for women. [11]

You might hesitate to invite this crowd for tea. Even the manifestos, perhaps especially the manifestos, were “conceived as a violent attack.” Nothing short of including the whole manifesto can really do justice to Marinetti’s work, but the flavor should be clear enough. At once engaging and disturbing, his words continue to exert an influence on contemporary art.

Marinetti and others elaborated on these basic concepts, creating Futurist theater, music, literature, painting, cinema, sculpture, dance, and “the new religion-morality of speed.”12 However, the basic values of the Futurist aesthetic remained fairly constant. It valued “speed” and “progress” above all, and rejected any “softness” and “sentimentality” that might stand in the way of those goals. What changes in Marinetti’s writing is the degree to which he is the degree to which he connects his aesthetic with fascism, and finds his ideal in Mussolini. Finally, he is entirely swallowed up by those affiliations, and his later writings, while still interesting, bear all the marks of propaganda.

 Or take Mussolini.
You listen to his speeches.
And he’s singing grand opera.
Doing all the parts.
And he’s hitting all those hard-to-reach high notes.
Frontiere! frontiere!
—Laurie Anderson, “Politics and Music”

However, the temptation to dismiss Italian Futurism as “that fascist art movement” is one we need to resist. It is a suspect move, given the lasting influence of Marinetti. And even if that initial “moment” ended with the around 1915, there have certainly been other moments which we might want to label “Futurist,” where the aesthetic, the industrial and the totalitarian collided in familiar ways. Marinetti himself said, “War is Futurism intensified.” He predicted “lightning warfare, ” and spoke of a “new sun.” The blitzkrieg is a Futurist moment, even before it becomes the stuff of war films. Hiroshima and Nagasaki are Futurist moments. And the footage from the nose-camera of a “smart” missile on a (self-)destructive mission into Baghdad was a recurring Futurist moment during the Gulf War (a conflict so perfectly aestheticized that Baudrillard could claim it “did not happen.”)

But we would be wrong to associate Futurism only with those expressions, just as we would be wrong to associate Marxism only with the Russian experience or technology and industry only with their most brutal and oppressive forms. Futurism’s influence continues for the most part despite these expressions. We need to consider those other aspects of the Futurist legacy.

For example, the origins of performance art are frequently traced back through the Italian Futurists. Certainly, their marches, tours (and fistfights) blurred the art/life line in ways which we now associate with performance art, just as Futurist theory assailed the boundary between art and industrial
production. This genealogy is disturbing, given the “activist” (feminist, etc…) nature of much contemporary performance. We might recall that Marinetti advocated performance for its own sake.

Another contemporary form with Futurist roots is industrial music. Russolo’s “Art of Noises” has inspired several generations of anti-musicians. Even the predominantly anti-totalitarian early punk scene drew inspiration from him. The first album by Adam and the Antz — featuring the band that Ant later lost to Sex pistols promoter and sometimes Situationist Malcolm McLaren — featured two cuts, “Family of Noise” and “Animals and Men,” which referred to Russolo and the Italian Futurists, alongside one song, “Digital Tenderness,” with a strongly anti-technology message. And, clearly, the New Wave band Art of Noise borrowed freely from them. Industrial music was the “next big thing” on the fringes of the music scene, coming close on the heels of the rapid birth and decline of the first generation of punks and rebel rockers like the Sex Pistols and the Clash. Noise was central to its sound from the very beginning. Later, bands like Germany’s Einsturzende Neubauten and Britain’s Test Department took the industrial label literally and began producing sophisticated music with “instruments” like power tools and found industrial debris, with the result that they very closely approximate the catalog of noises that Russolo had intended for his “Art of noises.” Currently, the industrial scene has become mainstream, with the result that there are now dozens of types of industrial music, from techno to the science fiction performance art of Gwar and the crass (post-Fordist?) products of KMFDM. And none of these is very far removed from contemporary “heavy metal.”

It is worth noting that I have been talking primarily about youth cultures. We might consider the similarities between the Futurists and the Yippies. If Marinetti had been born in another decade, mightn’t he have written a manifesto called “Fuck the System”? Marinetti pointed out in the first manifesto that “The oldest of us is thirty.” And he valued youth, imagining that “when we are forty, other younger and stronger men will probably throw us in the wastebasket like useless manuscripts — we want it to happen!” [13]

Futurism has to be understood as something like what we call “counterculture.” Or perhaps we should just understand the Futurists as the
first rock & roll band. They were wrecking hotel rooms, or its moral equivalent, long before Jerry Lee Lewis or Pete Townsend. Perhaps this is too much, but a series of benefit concerts have helped recently to show the connections between the concert and the political rally, and MTV has made inescapable to the connection between music, industry, and technology. It is disturbing, but not, I think unthinkable, that there is something like futurism at the beginning of that story.

As we turn to look at a few more contemporary example of Futurism, we should keep these alternative understandings of the Italian brand to the fore. But we should also keep in mind that catalog of “intensified” Futurist moments. There, perhaps, but for grace, go we.

Future World: Science Fiction & “Survival Research”

1.

Even before the beginning of the atomic age other futurisms are surfacing. In America in the thirties, a group of youthful science fiction fans and writers, including Isaac Asimov, claimed the name. These Futurists were the spiritual fathers of “hard,” or “Old Wave,” science fiction, but also of a range of scientific projects which gained inspiration from their fantasies of technology. The L5 space station project could not have remained as high-
profile as it still is today without the support of the science fiction community. For more instances of how science fiction and science interconnect, you need only grab a copy of The Futurist or Analog Science Fiction. And to see how the “hard” science fiction community has supported conservative, “hawkish” politics, you need only scan the shelves of your local bookstore to see all of the “war in space” series. Interestingly, this type of military science fiction has become the primary site for collaborative or shared-world writing within the genre.

“Hard” science fiction is frequently quite optimistic about the future. In it, art is downplayed so that science and industry can shine. This should be no surprise, given the number of “hard” sf writers who are also scientists. (For one very recent example, artificial intelligence guru Marvin Minsky recently wrote a novel, The Turing Option, with Frederick Pohl. The editors cut several chapters from the manuscript, and the authors responded by releasing them onto the internet.)

The “Old Wave” was defined as such in opposition to the more consciously “artistic” and more technologically pessimistic writings of the New Wave. Writers like J. G. Ballard and Philip K. Dick in particular wrote about futures where contemporary trends had led to disastrous ends. These future worlds were full of environmental degradation, corporate control, information technologies run amuck, drugs, crime, poverty in the sprawling cities. The New Wave has been criticize, perhaps justly, for its rather extreme technophobia and Luddite tendencies. But we can certainly make sense of these responses to technological change in an era of moon shots and Southeast Asian “actions.” And some of the stories speak powerfully to the equally extreme technophilia of the various futurisms. Ballard’s Crash might be read as a lengthy deconstruction of the auto-erotica (á la Marinetti) of contemporary culture.

In the eighties, however, a movement appeared which confused any easy separation of technophobia and technophilia, or of artistic presentation and
hard science. Cyberpunk combined a fascination with technology, or at least an acknowledgment that it isn’t going away, with an interest in the kind of dark, writerly stories that Dick and Ballard had written. The cyberpunks were not particularly tied to either the computer industry or the hacker underground, but they staked out their territory in the future of the human-machine interface. There are some wonderful ironies here. William Gibson wrote Neuromancer, the ur-text of cyberpunk, on typewriter(!) and was basically computer-illiterate at the time, but his notion of “cyberspace” has been one of the primary inspirations of the virtual reality industry.

Cyberpunk infused hard science fiction with youth and attitude, as well as a strong dose of avant garde posturing. Bruce Sterling’s early in-your-face work in the `zine Cheap Truth was very much in the tradition of Marinetti. in fact, if we had to find a word to describe what Sterling (writing as Vincent Omniveritus) objected to in the status quo of science fiction, passeism (the great enemy of Futurism) might serve as well as any.

Cyberpunk has been a very hot topic among academics recently, but there has yet to be much real critical analysis performed. Part of the reason is undoubtedly the difficulty of isolating a meaningful genre within the rapidly
shifting field of commercial science fiction. A tremendous amount of bandwidth is expected daily on the Internet, endlessly debating precisely this topic, and there is nothing like a consensus on what “cyberpunk” means. But the larger problem is that, even if you succeed in isolating something like a meaningful sample, you’re likely to find that cyberpunk is almost hopelessly conflicted. Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, Jr. may have come fairly close to hitting the nail on the head, though, when he called Gibson “The Sentimental Futurist.” As Csicsery-Ronay points out, the cyberpunks seem to deal equally with estrangement and engagement. [14]

The ambiguity becomes even more pronounced when we leave the realm of written texts and enter that of performance. Survival Research Laboratoriesmay be the ultimate contemporary expression of industrial art. The San Francisco-based performance group presents shows where groups of machines of various types battle, and frequently destroy, one another and batter elaborate scenery into twisted, smoking rubble. The machines are a diverse lot, constructed primarily from stolen industrial supplies and equipment (“obtainium”) and bits of roadkilled or butchered animal flesh, and the performances vary as well — but the emphasis is always on conflict. On stage, big machines smash (hammer, shoot with exploding darts, squeeze, grind, spray with flame, run over, etc…) smaller, weaker machines. “Wounded” machines limp, spin, crawl, or are dragged across the scene. Machines menace the audience, spraying flames toward the crowd, who are also frequently the target of the “sonic cannon,” which can break glass with concussive force. The air is filled with smoke, noise, flame, projectiles, and broken glass. Occasionally, a spectator is injured or property is damaged.

Founder Mark Pauline is vague about the meanings and purposes of SRL’s shows. It is clear that part of his purpose is just to “freak people out.” But he also talks frequently about the warnings in his shows. These spectacles of “controlled” destruction point toward the greater destructions that constantly menace us, in the forms of nuclear and chemical weapons. SRL’s art terrorist actions suggest the possibilities of DIY destruction. In fact, some of SRL’s equipment was used in defense of squatters in Amsterdam. When police came to evict them, the squatters “borrowed” a smoke machine from the group, which they used to confuse the government assault. [15] Actions like this, along with SRL’s admitted theft of materials, push the art/life boundary in significant ways and raise the stakes in the appropriation debate. But SRL’s organization as a “research laboratory” also helps to deconstruct the workings of the military-industrial complex. As an organization devoted to “pure development,” they point to the perils and follies of Marinetti’s emphasis on action, regardless of the consequences. The most disturbing thing about watching an SRL performance is that it is all so clearly choreographed. The machines are all more-or-less under control. But the result looks like chaos, and a dangerous chaos at that — a prolonged carcrash, beyond the dreams of Marinetti or even Ballard.

“Back to the Future:” Slovenia’s Retro Garde

Finally, no study of contemporary futurisms would be complete without at least a glance at Slovenia’s Neue Slovenische Kunst.[16] Best known for the music of Laibach, the New Slovenian Art Movement is a collection of artists working in painting, music, dance, sculpture, architecture, theater and design. They were originally devoted to the cause of Slovene independence, but have recently focused their attention on the West, particularly America. They have been extremely controversial, both at home and abroad, because they have appropriated the symbols of totalitarianism, particularly of the Nazis, for their performances. Laibach was the German name for Ljubjana, the Slovene capitol, during the German occupation, and the band has been known to sport silver face paint and Nazi SS uniforms in concert. Their first major tour was called the “Occupied Europe Tour.”

The degree to which the members of NSK actually subscribe to fascist ideas has become a topic debated nearly as hotly as the definition of”cyberpunk.” The artists themselves are little help. They tend to respond to questions with evasions or provocations. They say they are Nazis “like Hitler was a painter.” And what little information is made available in this country comes through the popular media, where maintaining controversy is a plus. However, their work shows a fairly consistent irony that would suggest that they are not entirely serious, and they are frequently brilliantly successful in their attempts to point out the totalitarianism that exists within Western “democracies.” They have rerecorded songs by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Queen, “liberating” the fascist overtones of songs like “One Vision” and “Sympathy for the Devil.” “I’ve Got a Feeling” is transformed into something that sounds like the Nuremberg rallies.

We might understand NSK’s work as a sort of anti-Futurism that achieves its object by an amazingly faithful adherence to the form of the earlier movement. The question that we should ask ourselves is not “Are Laibach Nazis?” Rather, it is “How are we any different from that?” This may be the
right sort of question to ask ourselves about Futurism, too. Rather than simply dismissing the movement as fascist, we might ask ourselves to what extent we are, however unconsciously, in sympathy with its project. That is the question that I have been trying to approach in this rather sketchy survey. And the answers that I come up with are not terribly reassuring. Perhaps, however, reassurance is not what we need most. Perhaps a degree of conscious discomfort is the best medicine we could prescribe for what ails us.

III

“Speed and Politics”

May 30, 1993

I’m trying to pull it all together. Throw all the switches at once. Laibach’s “Opus Dei” is playing on the stereo while SRL’s “Will to Provoke” occupies my television screen. In the background, my printer slowly delivers an NSK interview, found in the remote archive that my computer was connected to until a moment or so ago. (And I’m making coffee.)

It’s a (post-)Futurist moment, or perhaps a hyper-Futurist one. Through speed to simultaneity, with the result that one hardly needs to move to go fast. In a multi-channel society, in an information economy, the “speed of information” far exceeds that of sound or light. But — and here is the perfect Baudrillardian irony — our passion for keeping up tends to lead to a kind of dazzled immobility, or to manic channel-changing. We are immersed in the datastream and we glean what we can. Bits of data, pixels (thousands of points of light) pour from screens, flicker over us until we are (Baudrillardian) screens, until we flicker in nearly-epileptic state of “rapid waking” (Virilio). This is, in some sense, the ideal state for living in contemporary culture. Even when we are traveling fast, as in the cockpit of a fighter jet, our environment has to be structured to simulate this “flickering,” reduced to a series of stills. Otherwise, we are in precisely the state that Baudrillard speculates upon in Fatal Strategies. We are hit by the oncoming train before we even see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Speed, as such, may be rapidly becoming obsolete in the face of hyperized forms of velocity, and our fascination with sports cars and fighter jets is perhaps only nostalgia for the merely fast. For NSK, Italian Futurism provides both a model and material for their own retrogardism. It has been repeatedly surpassed, as Marinetti hoped, by younger, stronger, faster forms. But we may now be reaching a point at which even the dream of Futurism, a dream of acceleration, may be slipping away from us. If that is so, then what ecstatic forms of speed — or art, or totalitarianism — are we rushing toward? And will we see them before they strike us?

Notes:

1. Peggy Noonan, What I Saw at the Revolution ( ).

2. F. T. Marinetti, Selected Writings (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 1972) 56.
3 Marinetti, 41.
4 Marjorie Perloff, The Futurist Moment (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1986) xvii-xxiii
5 For example, see Marinetti, Perloff, and Christiana J. Taylor, Futurism: Politics, Painting and Performance (Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1979).
6 Marinetti, 39-40.
7 Marinetti, 39-40.
8 Marinetti, 40.
9 Marinetti, 40-41.
10 Marinetti, 41.
11 Marinetti, 41-42.
12 Marinetti, 94-96
13 Marinetti 43
14 Istvan Csicsery-Ronay, “The Sentimental Futurist,” Critique 33 (Spring
1992), 221-240.
15 Survival Research Laboratories, The Will to Provoke (New York: Def
America, 1993) [videotape].
16 See Neue Slovenische Kunst, (Los Angeles: Amok, 1991) for a collection of documents and art works by the various branches of NSK.

About Shawn P. Wilbur 2320 Articles
Independent scholar, translator and archivist.