This article is about the art movement, futurism. Futurism is also another word for Future studies.
Futurism was a 20th century art movement. Although a nascent Futurism can been seen surfacing throughout the very early years of that century, the 1907 essay Entwurf einer neuen ─sthetik der Tonkunst (Sketch of a New Aesthetic of Music) by the Italian composer Ferruccio Busoni is sometimes claimed as its true jumping-off point. Futurism was a largely Italian movement, although it also had adherents in other countries, most notably Russia.
The Futurists explored every medium of art, including painting, sculpture, poetry, theatre, music and even gastronomy. The Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti was the first among them to produce a manifesto of their artistic philosophy in his Manifesto of Futurism (1909), first released in Milan and published in the French paper Le Figaro (February 20). Marinetti summed up the major principles of the Futurists, including a passionate loathing of ideas from the past, especially political and artistic traditions. He and others also espoused a love of speed, technology and violence. The car, the plane, the industrial town were all legendary for the Futurists, because they represented the technological triumph of man over nature.
Marinetti's impassioned polemic immediately attracted the support of the young Milanese painters - Boccioni, CarrÓ, and Russolo - who wanted to extend Marinetti's ideas to the visual arts (Russolo was also a composer, and introduced Futurist ideas into his compositions). The painters Balla and Severini met Marinetti in 1910 and together these artists represented Futurism's first phase.
The painter and sculptor Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916) wrote the Manifesto of Futurist Painters in 1910 in which he vowed:
- We will fight with all our might the fanatical, senseless and snobbish religion of the past, a religion encouraged by the vicious existence of museums. We rebel against that spineless worshipping of old canvases, old statues and old bric-a-brac, against everything which is filthy and worm-ridden and corroded by time. We consider the habitual contempt for everything which is young, new and burning with life to be unjust and even criminal.
Futurists dubbed the love of the past "pastism", and its proponents "pastists" (cf. Stuckism). They would sometimes even physically attack alleged pastists, in other words, those who were apparently not enjoying Futurist exhibitions or performances.
The Futurists' glorification of modern warfare as the ultimate artistic expression and their intense nationalism allowed those of them who survived World War I to embrace Italian fascism.
Futurism influenced many other 20th century art movements, including Art Deco, Vorticism, Constructivism and Surrealism. Futurism as a coherent artistic movement is now regarded as extinct, having died out in the 1920s; many of the Futurists were killed in two world wars, and Futurism was, like science fiction, in part overtaken by 'the future'. Nonetheless the ideals of futurism remain as significant components of modern Western culture; the emphasis on youth, speed, power and technology finding expression in much of modern commercial cinema and culture. Powerful echoes of Marinetti's thought, especially his "dreamt-of metallization of the human body", also remain in Japanese culture, and surface in manga/anime and the works of artists such as Shinya Tsukamoto, director of the "Tetsuo" (lit. "Ironman") films. Futurism has produced several reactions, including the literary genre of cyberpunk - in which technology was often treated with ambivalence - whilst artists who came to prominence during the first flush of the internet, such as Stelarc and Mariko Mori , produce work which comments on futurist ideals.
Futurist visual artists
Last updated: 09-12-2005 02:39:13