Futurism, an art style originating in the early 1900′s, espoused the depiction of speed, technology, and all the trappings of modern urban society as “universal dynamism.” Futurists believed that because all things are in motion, including and especially the human body, that a work of art should attempt to convey this sense of motion and the way in which we experience not just one angle, one side, or one moment of an object, but the multitude of images our brain processes to create motion and indeed our experience of everyday life.
“Indeed, all things move, all things run, all things are rapidly changing. A profile is never motionless before our eyes, but it constantly appears and disappears. On account of the persistency of an image upon the retina, moving objects constantly multiply themselves; their form changes like rapid vibrations, in their mad career. Thus a running horse has not four legs, but twenty, and their movements are triangular.” (Marinetti, Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting)
Neo-futurism also recognizes and acknowledges that it is not just the object that is in motion, but in fact it is both the experience and the perception of the viewer which is constantly changing. All things move. We know from quantum physics that even the most stationary objects are actually in the throes of constant vibratory motion. Consciousness too is a non-stationary state and the act or experience of perception is a constantly shifting landscape of image, motion, memory, reference, discovery, deconstruction and reassembly. The artistic perspective, perception itself, is constantly shifting, altered by time, light, atmosphere, angle, inclination, medium, mood, memory, and experience.
Within this Neo-Futurist work, the tenements of the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting and ideas from Futurist Photodynamism, are utilized to explore the dynamism of the remnants of our post-industrial, consumer society, as well as that of nature. In Huges’ review of the Venetian retrospective of the futurist work he states;
“Their problem was framing a pictorial language to describe rapid stimulus and movement. They came up with an amalgam of pointillism, cubism and photography. Picasso and Braque had built cubism on the scrutiny of a single object from multiple viewpoints: the table stood still, the eye moved. In futurism, the eye is fixed and the object moves, but it is still the basic vocabulary of cubism — fragmented and overlapping planes — that tells us so. Carra, Boccioni and, above all, Balla prized the photographs of sequential movement taken by Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne Jules Marey.” (Huges)
This body of work uses that progression of sequenced photographs, but as overlapped multiple exposures, to create the colorism and angles reminiscent of futurism altogether with a difference of subject matter, combined with the lightness and airiness of the post-futurist movement Rayonism. The multiple exposure photographic process is used to merge, contrast, clash and combine shapes, symbols, and visuals to create a new perspective and potential interpretations. The use of multiple focal lengths with variations in time, motion, and perspective enhances and confuses the viewer’s perception of depth. The intensified colors created by the overlap convey more accurately the human experience of vision and memory.
Declaration number 9 of the Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting states, “That movement and light destroy the materiality of bodies.” And indeed this body of work achieves that with the depiction of a new subject matter, multiplied and overlapped to create Neo-Futurist images.
Revised conclusions for the Neo-Futurist:
1. Simultaneously revere and revile the cult of the past, know the ancients, integrate everything, and transform academia.
2. Understand imitation as the highest form of flattery and acknowledge that within the intelligent application and alteration of such lies new vision.
3. Elevate attempts at originality.
4. Bear bravely and proudly the smear of “madness”, OCD or whatever other label they apply, but do not believe or buy into said label. Act professionally and accordingly to elevate the name of artist and inventor.
5. Utilize modern communication methods to manipulate media and educate art critics.
6. Rebel and revel in the combined power of words and art.
7. Revitalize the cultural understanding of symbolism, generating a new visual language, through the avid application of any and all themes and subjects from the past and present regardless of society or cultures.
8. Support and glory in our day-to-day world, a world which is continually and splendidly transformed by victorious communication.
Revised declarations for Neo-Futurist technique:
(Note: The first 5 are variants of the conclusions from the Manifesto of Futurist Painters.)
6. That innate complementariness is an absolute necessity in art.
7. That the universal dynamism must be rendered in art as a dynamic sensation.
8. That in the manner of rendering Nature the first essential is sincerity and purity.
9. That movement and light destroy the materiality of bodies.
1. Against the bituminous tints and against black and white photographs, by which it is attempted to obtain the patina of time upon modern pictures.
2. Against the artificial commercialized idealization of the fashion industry and commercial artwork, which reduces artistic expression to a powerless synthesis of manipulation, sexualization, and sensationalism.
3. Against the proliferation of “easy” and “convenient” online academia as a innate falsehood and commercialization of education which exacerbates a culture of entitlement.
4. Against the nude in art, as nauseous and as tedious as adultery in literature.
1. Apollonio, Umbro, and Richard Humphreys. Futurist Manifestos. London: Tate, 2009. Print.
A comprehensive collection of Futurist manifestos written from the inception to the dissolution of the movement, including the original Futurist Manifesto, The Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting, and Futurist Photodynamism.
2. Anonymous. ‘Who Sings War’.(Foreign News; ITALY).” Time 17 June 1940: 41. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.
Brief article from the Times documenting Signor Filippo Tomaso Marinetti’s contradictory political positions and statements over the course of the years and their relationship to the
3. Boguslawski, Alexander. “RAYONISM.” Lecture. Rollins College. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. <http://tars.rollins.edu/Foreign_Lang/Russian/ruspaint.html>.
Web site created by Prof. Boguslawski and class, containing lectures, articles and images, documenting Russian painting, prints and icons from the 18th C to the 19th C including the Russian Futurist art movement and Rayonism.
4. Danto, Arthur Coleman. “Boccioni: a retrospective.” The Nation 247.13 (1988): 468+. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.
Review and commentary on Boccioni’s Futurist artwork.
5. Danto, Arthur Coleman. “Supreme being in Russia.” The Nation 252.13 (1991): 452+. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 19 Aug. 2010. Discussion and review of art movements, in particular Suprematism and the work of Malevich.
Review and commentary on Suprematism. Mentions Futurism at the end and has some interesting ideas and metaphors regarding artistic movements and their documented manifestos.
6. Hatherley, Owen. “The Russian Artists Who Drew Futurism to the Left.” Socialist Worker (Britain) an Anticapitalist, Revolutionary Weekly. N.p., 31 Mar. 2007. Web. 24 Aug. 2010. <http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/art.php?id=11051>.
Review of the Estorick Collection, including a brief overview of the history of the counterparts to the Futurists, Russian and in particular female Russian, Futurists.
7. Hughes, Robert. “‘Kill the moonlight!’ they cried; in Venice, a superb retrospective of the futurists.” Time 4 Aug. 1986: 66. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Web. 19 Aug. 2010.
Review of a comprehensive retrospective of Futurist artwork featured in Venice including works from as far as Mexico and Japan.
8. Jones, Chis. “THE NEW FUTURISM.” Rev. of Tate Modern Exhibit of Futurism. Web log post. Confessions of a Digital Adman. WordPress, 29 June 2009. Web. 03 Sept. 2010. <http://digitaladman.com/?p=394>.
Diatribe pondering Futurist artwork featured in the Tate and the correlation between the ideas of Futurism and the parallels of modern communications and marketing. Asks the question, “When did our new (Neo!) futurism begin?” and continues on to make many interesting points regarding collaboration and appropriation on the Internet.
10. Napala, Phil. “Opening Reception for Phil Napala.” Message to the author. 19 June 2009. E-mail