Futurism and the New Manifesto Reading: MOMA, February 20, 2009
a decantering of steely ghosts, and pulse-check at the heel of a dying elephant
Klammer in hand, hazpashing the music skrand, thuda-reatening to crip apart a Miró on the sfwall (the sfwall as a sfwall on the sfwall a sfwall after all), srkelted out “The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism” in tones unkrimmen! With hizzzzzz braulding boki-boke, ka-taldering the space, to some 3, 000-5, 000 polycarbonate contempro performative A-Holes (like u!) pasking and pasking to and fro, (MOMA arrived in tow) and pauzing, “being there”, being, in fact, nowhere, aka C-U-R-I-O-U-S (note: you can very easily find the manifesto on-line, between your de-potentializing of every thing you touch, O Browser, throughout your bedraggled day (you should go home! you should sign off! you should quit!)). A-maaaaaaaaaazing cHARLES bERNSTEIN—red. I wuz wuh-waiting wuh-wankshussly fur die paart boot hate them the feminine everything futuristi, you know, that airborne fascist germ in your avant-garde coffee still. Whooooooooo—cHARLES, laid into, double-xtra, as by louder! How else? Exposé! Left me noivuhs-noivuhs, though. Later
A.E. Stallings was/is a someone super somebody else. She read “The Destruction of Syntax/Imagination without Strings/Words-in-Freedoms” by F.T. Marinetti. One of the planks from that text: “Acceleration of life to today’s swift space. Physical, intellectual, and sentimental equilibration on the cord of speed stretched between contrary magnetisms. Multiple and simultaneous awareness in a single individual.” In short, everything that’s making you sick,—at every turn! Why don’t you quit! Why are you still on-line! Why, look at you up and about spending money you don’t have and over-eating, over-drinking and getting more scattered by the moment. Good stuff. To hear. How new. It was. Then. A.E., who is fluid (a fact), read fluidly, A.E., (who, btw, can make Lucretius dance on the rectangular contour of a USB plug (look up her all-rhyming couplets translation on-line)), then read “The Paintings of Sounds, Noises, and Smells” [manifesto titles, O WREADER, read one by one, can indeed get boring pretty quickly; so read faster, why don’t you! Aaah, you stopped reading years ago! Still, you might-can start, again, slowly]. My favorite “rejection” (as in the “we reject” manifestoey style a’ speaking) was “all muted colors, even those obtained directly and without using tricks like patinas and glazes. The banality…”, etc. So instead of these “patinas”, these futuristi called (and still do? through the fog of marching time?) for “Reds, rrrrreds, the rrrreddest rrrreds that shouuuuuut”. Pretty horny stuff, eh? MOMA didn’t just walk away at that point. MOMA, in fact, “stayed.”
“The Futurist Synthesis of War” and the “Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe” was read by Joshua Mehigan in a cool-blue post-awards dinner manner. The “synthesis,” with its church bell-tower constructive manner of smushing national “characteristics” onto certain aesthetic “foundations” (“Germany: Philosophical Fumes, Constipation of Industrial Camelots”; “Austria: Clotted Blood, Bed Bugs—Priests”; “France: Spontaneity, Explosiveness” etc) was skillfully re-toned by J.M. into a state of “Exposé”. That is, from our contempro (perverted functionalist) “viewpoint,” it made no
T.S.E, Thomas Sayers Ellis, is a public-poetic silver foam un-foaming and emulsifying into a see-through formica sheet you can smash into if you’re not careful. He reads, you glisten. That’s the script. Me, I hit the pane, and it felt very good indeed. T.S.E read from “Multiplied Man and the Reign of the Machine.” The line that stuck out the most for this WAUTHOR, was, “One can say of the great French railway strike that the organizers were unable to persuade a single mechanic to sabotage his locomotive…to me this seems entirely natural. How could one of those men have been able to wound or kill his great faithful devoted mistress with her quick and ardent heart his beautiful steel machine that had so often glowed with pleasure beneath his ardent caress?” BUT THEN (“thens” comes in droves at “events”), T.S.E. read from—or out of—or through, the “Manifesto of the Futurist Dance”. No manner of typing can describe the live poetry readings—so listen to the podcast! But in a word, let’s just say, that Futurism felt (Europeanly) over-lean, or just plain fat (hard to judge) next to T.S.E’s warpings of their warpings (readings are tests of poetry! not “demonstrations”). And with that “test”, T.S.E. wrapped up the Futurist Manifestos section.
11:00 am - 3:00 pm
All the while Luca Buvoli’s installation pulsed out a maximum intervention during the whole event. Quoting here (whole clothe—as the ride is so well worth it) (but first peer into L.B.’s futuro-futurist eyes):
“The centrepiece is the video animation Excerpts from: Velocity Zero, in which sections of the Futurist manifesto are read out loud by people with speech difficulties. The halting, difficult speech of the readers is contrasted with the values of speed and efficiency espoused by the Futurists. As the artist explains, “Marinetti’s original celebration of velocity and aggression from his Futurist text is neutralised by its readers’ speech disorders and my subsequent hand-drawn animation of the footage, which at times delays and overlaps images in mimicry of the Futurists’ representation of motion. The result is a sense of fragmentation and incompletion that parallels the struggle of the readers to capture the original text. The purpose of having the manifesto read by people with speech disorders was to utilise the difficulty of communication and the slowing of language in order to symbolically critique the rhetoric of velocity, aggression and violence in our society.”
I submit: Is that the merda, or what!?
The rest of the event consisted of the >readers bouncing out their own excellent manifestos, which you can read here (go!)
Rodrigo Toscano latest book is Collapsible Poetics Theater (Fence Books) , which was a National Poetry Series 2007 selection. Toscano's experimental poetics plays, body-movement poems, polyvocalic pieces have recently been performed at the Disney Redcat Theater in Los Angeles, Ontological-Hysteric Poet’s Theater Festival, Yockadot Poetics Theater Festival (Alexandria, Virginia), and Links Hall (Chicago). His radio pieces have appeared on WPIX FM (New York), KAOS Public Radio Olympia, WNYU, WFMU, and PS. 1 Radio. Toscano in lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Raised in southern California, experimental poet, playwright, and labor activist Rodrigo Toscano's experimental work often takes the form of conversation and physical movement that interrogates, and crosses, borders: the border between poetic and political action, between the made thing and its making, between speech and theater, between languages, between social...