Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Drone Um Futurisma

Sometimes I write a string of posts with clear intent to be provocative, and sometimes a theme grows organically out of seemingly unrelated research. The latter has definitely been the case this past week. Who would have thought posting a couple of Klinik videos would lead to the religious subtext of the first Star Trek movie?

The turning point was reading Simon Reynolds implicate industrial disco with Italian Futurism. It suddenly became very easy to connect the dots and theorize that attraction to a particular style of music or art is more than purely a matter of taste. Conscious of it or not, people often connect with an aesthetic because it represents much bigger concepts, and in the case of Futurism, even a quasi-belief system.

Luigi Russolo Intonarumori

Industrial disco and techno music had many of the same motivations which inspired Luigi Russolo to write the The Art of Noises manifesto and build his intonarumori. These genres were the manifestation of Futurist thinking in the late 20th century, but I don't think either are truly Futurist today. Today's Futurists are the Singularity proponents. Singularity represents the same obsession with the speed of technological innovation and a deep faith in human ingenuity. Like their predecessors, these 21st century thinkers, scientists and artists believe above all else in humanity's potential, and like Ayn Rand's heroic genius archetype, put the instinct to create above the instinct for self-preservation.

I wonder what the musical manifestation of Futurism is for today, or if it is yet to be created.

Note to self: It's about time I follow up that Russolo article from last summer.

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