Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Futurism!

MoMA has up some neat audio clips of the one hundredth anniversity celebration of the Founding and Manifesto of Futurism which was on Feb. 20, 2009.

This is Charles Bernstein reading excerpts from the Manifesto (note: there is no video, only audio):



He really does a fantastic job.

Now there is a lot from futurism that just scares me. i have been reading a lot of post-WWII lit recently (check out Mavis Gallant's short story "The Latehomecomer"). Much of that literature focuses on the impossibility of forgetting the past, the impossibility of "going back" to a time before the horrors of the Holocaust and the war. History, much of this literature suggests, is a burden we cannot escape. Even if we could escape it, would it be wise? "Those who do not learn from history" etc. Even while some try to deny events, try to rewrite history, it is still influencing the present. The Futurists were extremists and products of their era, I suppose. But burning museums and libraries brings up visions of totalitarian oppression in its many incarnations over the past 100 years, over the past millennium. What knowledge lost?

But there is something kind of appealing about erasing the past through destruction. And something ironic about celebrating the 100th anniversary of Futurism.

More on MoMA's site.

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