In the intersection of the angles of a table, there is more truth than in all the tangle of muscles: Futurism as anti-humanist critique
Kollectiv, G. and Kollectiv, P. (2011) In the intersection of the angles of a table, there is more truth than in all the tangle of muscles: Futurism as anti-humanist critique. History and Theory, Future's P (19). ISSN 1565-8163
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The recent celebrations of the centenary of the publication of the Futurist manifesto led to a renewed discussion of the ideas and artworks of the Italian artists’ group. Jacques Rancière related the Futurist ethos with the modernist project of liberating art from representation. Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, in his post-Futurist manifesto, also identified a historical irony at play in the emptying out of Futurism’s promise: a liberated mechanical humanity did indeed materialize, in a global economic system premised on financial servitude to the future via debt. However, these models continue to assess Futurism against an unchallenged humanism, finding it either supporting ideals of freedom and human rights despite itself, or else lacking in these areas. But Futurism is potentially more relevant than ever not in spite of its anti-humanist agenda, precisely because of it. Tom McCarthy annexes not Futurist art but Futurist writing to an emerging object oriented ontology that seeks to challenge the primacy of the human. If Futurism is to be repurposed as a critical concept, it can only do so by countering the humanist myth the liberal subject that underlies the current cultural and political hegemony of neo-liberalism.
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