Back to the Futurists…or “we don’t need any roads”


So my education continues. A few weeks back I took a well-deserved trip to the Florida Keys to go kayaking with a 1 day layover in Miami. While my travelling companion hung out with her family in the area, I hit the Wolfsonian, the one not-to-be-missed design destination in the area.

The whole museum is awesome, a wonderful collage of great design objects placed in great context.  You can see above the wonderful contrast between the Deco bronze window frames (from a department store in Buffalo in the 30s), the Italian urns from 1910 and this amazing sculpture from the 1932 Olympic Games in LA by Talcott. And that’s just the entryway.

IMG_1952-1The Italian Futurist section really blew me away…earlier in the museum the immense impact of modern technological change on the modern creative psyche was discussed. Never before had the world – so large and complex, more complex than ever before, begun to collapse into a hum of simultaneity. The telegraph, the airplane, the train…the beginnings of modern humans as a networked brain began then. You could know what was happening around the world almost immediately.

It was that Immediacy that Renato Di Bosso is trying to show in the Aeropainting self-portrait above: Speed, motion, multiple angles and the effort to synthesize an entire experience in a moment. the 1929 Manifesto of Air Painting asserts “the painter can only observe by participating in…speed”. Oddly enough I had the pleasure of meeting a futurist expert the following week…she doesn’t have the AirPainting manifesto on her site…but she has everything else futurist here, if you hunger for more manifestos. And who doesn’t? They are all so definitive and ballsy. To wit:

“With our enthusiastic adherence to Futurism, we will…Totally invalidate all kinds of imitation.”

IMG_1945-1I loved this sculpture by Bertelli from 1933 which is a Portrait of Mussolini. It brings speed, mechanism and dynamism to the idea of the human image. It’s kinda breathtaking.

It really made me think…the world is SO much more collapsed into a near singularity now than ever before…but is anyone trying to express this sense of overwhelmingness? I keep talking to people about  technology in my work and I hear kids in their 20s say that they are turning off facebook, or ignoring twitter…They need a break. There needs to be an artistic response to our modern experience to help us with integration. Maybe we need another futurist manifesto?


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