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Futurism Now! The Ethic and Aesthetic of FT Marinetti & Co.

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James McKinnon

on 25 March 2015

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Transcript of Futurism Now! The Ethic and Aesthetic of FT Marinetti & Co.

Futurism Now!!!
The Ethics & Aesthetics of Marinetti's
Futurist Theatre
Celebrating
And the modern
MACHINE!!

And
exclamation
points
!!!
And the glorious purifying powers of
WAR!
speeeed!
Also the astonishing
DACHSHUND!
power of the
was a radical avant-garde
Filippo
Tommaso
Marinetti
Futurism
Poet!
movement championed by
Lover!
Lawyer!
Italian!
FASCIST!
Possibly the only person in history to write BOTH an avant garde manifesto AND a Fascist manifesto!
MARINETTI
MUSSOLINI
[HEART]
"Dynamism of Dog on a Leash," Giacomo Balla (1912)
"Futurist art was an exaltation of modern, urban life and sought to
obliterate
the contemplative, intellectual culture of Belle-Epoque Italy. [...]

They sought nothing less than to REVOLUTIONIZE society.
"
(Berghaus 93)
Futurists wanted to utterly
destroy
the traditions of the
past.
They celebrated
Speed
Industry
Machinery
Warfare
Planes, trains, and automobiles

Vehement god from a race of steel,
Automobile drunk with space,
Trampling with anguish, bit between your strident teeth!
O formidable Japanese monster with forge,
Nourished with flame and mineral oils,
Hungry for horizons and sidereal prey,
I unleash your heart to the diabolical vroom-vroom
And your giant radials, for the dance
You lead on the white roads of the world.
Lastly I loosen your metal reins and you soar,
Drunkenly, into freedom-giving Infinity!...
Excerpt from Marinetti's free verse poem
"To a Racing Car"
"We will glorify war - the world's only hygiene - militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of liberating, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman.
MANIFESTO DEL FUTURISMO, by CARMELO BENE
Futurist poetry by Marinetti
Two Futurist
"Sintesi"
Some examples of futurist drama & theatre
Trailer for Bella Luna's
Futuristi!
(2008)
Futurists were openly antagonistic to society and
even their audiences
.



Marinetti et al.
loathed
representational
art
& the
passive viewing habits
of the contemporary spectator.

They aimed for “synthetic theatre” that
compresses the energy of a full play into two or three minutes.

Worship of speed = belief in
simultaneity
and
multi-track
performances.
Marinetti glorified the
speed
and
energy
of the machine age,
"Speeding Train," Ivo Pannaggi (1922)
which he saw as the key to an enlightened future.
"We are held back by veneration of the past;
ergo, all libraries and museums must be destroyed and society must be cleansed by war!"
Even Italian cooking and
eating
needed to be renovated!
Futurist Ideals & Ideology
Futurist Theatre
Two Phases of Futurist performance
1) Destroy the Old!
Futurist activists disrupted conventional performances by showering the audience with pamphlets.

Marinetti was inspired by Jarry's scandalous
Ubu Roi
.
2) Recreate Theatre for the Futurist Age
A "serate" evening would combine
readings from manifestos
performances of sintesi
sound poems
probably a mass food fight
audiences of up to
4000
These events were
planned
to
provoke
riots.
Note the attack on conventional FORM
We want to destroy museums, libraries, academies of every kind, and fight against moralism, feminism, and against all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice."
"Theatre as a form of cultural combat would lead the artists out of the ivory tower"
-- Berghaus 101
New Theatrical Format:
The Futurist "
Serate
"
New Dramatic Form:
The "
Sintesi
"
The first "viral marketing"?
New Publicity:
Features of Futurist Dramaturgy
"Concrete" or "alogical" dramaturgy
Direct experience > Representation
No "fourth wall"
The performance does not present an illusion of something else.
Focus on immediate impact
Performers and spectators are both "present" and participating -- no
passatistas
!
Multimedia & simultanaeity
Modeled after music hall, variety theatre
Mechanization & Depersonalization
"In the final synthesis, human actors will no longer be tolerated" -- Enrico Prampolini
Speed, brevity, and compression!
"It's stupid to write one hundred pages where one would do!"
The Good News
(7PM) and
Tiny Deaths
(8:30) @ BATS
Mystery of Edwin Drood
@ Circa
Full transcript