Futurism Today or NOT!
Saturday, October 1, 2011
An Independent Project for ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche 2011
Curated by Thom Sokoloski
Presented by The Distillery Historic District
U P D A T E S :
Click here to download Blast! Programme for Futurism Today or NOT!
All artists announced below.
Downloadable PDF of the available Distillery grounds (interior & exterior) can be downloaded at bottom of page.
Link to photos of The Distillery now available at bottom of page.
Added link 'to like' Futurism Today or NOT! facebook page. Also at bottom.
What is it?
'Futurism Today or NOT!' will examine the artistic originality of the Futurists and how it can be reinterpreted today as a significant artistic movement of humanity’s inventiveness and/or a fleeting simulacrum of an artificial optimism appropriated by the zeitgeist of its times.
Initiated by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti with his Futurist Manifesto in 1909 published on the front page of Paris' Le Figaro, Futurism's impact, driven by the movement's desire for speed of thought and the acceleration of action, made its presence felt throughout Europe, specifically, France, Italy, England and Russia. Though an off-shoot of Cubism, Futurism pushed the envelope further. Interpretating everyday life in geometric and abstract forms was fine but the cult of the machine and industry was what was transforming all apsects of life faster than art and this is what Marinetti, Boccioni, Carra, Russolo, Balla and Severini stuck to. All artistic expression had to stay ahead of this transformation, and with a severe and glorified sense of irony, expose its dehumanization of everyday life faster that it could be imagined. Futurism was the modernist fuse that ignited the artistic explosions of the great multi-disciplinary art movements which followed into the 1930's, including Dadaism, Bauhaus, Constructivism, Surrealism, Suprematism, Vorticism, German Expressionism, etc.
The Futurists also faced, more than any other artistic movement, an onslaught of criticism as a result of their eventual ties to Italian Fascism and their glorification of war and misogyny. These cannot be ignored, but at the same time art and politics were never so integrated as they were at the beginning of the 20th Century. Right or wrong-headed, modernism was on the move with unparalleled voraciousness, especially in politics. If Futurism's ideals were driven by the momentum of spectacle, why shouldn't the new politics of Fascism appropriate and steal what they needed until they got their branding together as well? Once Mussolini succeeded in doing this, he broke-off the relationship claiming that Marinetti refused the real violence the Fascists' needed to spread with their urban arditi and rural squadrismos - Marinetti '[is] an eccentric buffoon who wants to play politics and whom no one in Italy, least of all me, takes seriously'. The challenges artists and the momentum of their creative forces faced during the rise of Naziism, Fascism and Communism in Germany, Austria, Soviet Union, Spain and Italy, did not make being an artist comfortable, or sometimes it did, depending on what was needed and not needed from you. Composer Dimitri Shostakovitch's insightful journals while serving under Stalin make for a good read as does Griel Marcus' Lipstick Traces.'
History-making was not in a pretty place then, nor is it today after the recent massacre in Norway, the on-going riots in London and the looming global economic chaos. A great deal remains dormant. What awakens some to go in one direction and others in another has always been a topic for discussion, not only in art but in politics and life as well. The speed and acceleration at which thought and action can be organised and executed in today's societies is startling, and their results even more so.
My hope is that 'Futurism Today or NOT!' will bring together a group of interested and inspired artists who will examine the many artistic and political questions of our past through a mass collective creation that incites a robust dialogue between themselves and their public about our present and future.
Anthony Cristina & Natalie Viecili
Arianne Pollet-Brannen & Rebecca Hannon
Christine Lucy Latimer
Evoke Movement Dance Theatre
Nexx Level Dance & Theatre
Nouveau Futurist Art of Noise Group
Paul J. Stoesser
Saving Us From Destruction
Production by 5th Element
How to participate?
If you are an artist or collective and interested, you are welcome to propose a project which reinterprets or is inspired by one of the hundreds of multi-disciplinary works created by the Futurists. These may include but are not limited to;
FashionIf you have any questions about how to participate, do not hesitate to ask me.
Sound ArtIf you have any questions about how to participate, do not hesitate to ask me.
Action Painting + Sculpting
Music Constructions + Performance
Poetry + Manifesto Readings
Please keep in mind that ScotiaBanks's Nuit Blanche is a 12-hour durational visual arts experience! Any work submitted must meet the basic criteria of starting at sunset and ending at sunrise as one individual artwork or as part of a programme of a collective artwork, such as a cabaret-style event inclusive of dance, theatre and music.
From a production persepctive Caffe Furbo, Arta Gallery and Balzac's Cafe have committed to supplying interior space for visual works and possible readings and projections. The Distillery will be supplying up to 6 secured exterior spaces equipped with basic lighting. The focus will be on the main plaza which is the extension of Trinity Street south of Mill Street. Six walls are also available for media projections. Please note that times and spaces are limited.
How to submit a proposal?
If you are interested in participating by either proposing a work or wanting to help with the production and exhibition of these works, please send an email of interest to FuturismTodayorNot@gmail.com
Please include the following for your proposal to be considered:
- your contact information,
- brief bio or bios if a collective (can be a link to your website),
- description of work you would like to do and production requirements,
- a statement of what or who of the Futurism movement inspired your proposal (this is the most important to address).
Deadline September 1, 2011!
The selected works will be integrated into a large-scale site-specific showcase called The Futuristic Institute of Collective Happenings for ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche 2011, 6:59 PM, Saturday, October 1, 2011 until sunrise Sunday, October 2, 2011.
The Distillery Historic District is offering use of selected outdoor and indoor spaces, security, required public insurances, promotion and bus shuttle between City Hall and The Distillery.
Mapping and photos of spaces coming soon! If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask me.
There will of course be promotion done by ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche 2011 as well as The Distillery Historic District. Even more exciting will be the publication of a program guide to The Futuristic Institute of Collective Happenings modelled after the Vorticists' (English Futurists) revue Blast!
I will adding new links everyday so that anyone who who is interested can hopefully appreciate the arena of possibilities the Futurists built.
Due to a great deal of discussion around Futurists and their association with Fascism and misogyny, as well as other topics and actions of a controversial nature, I will be posting links to discussions concerning them.
The controversies surrounding Futurist politics:
Suggested Research Links:
Futurism: Manifestos and other resources
Wikipedia - Overview of Futurism
Wikipedia - Overview of Futurist Music
Futurism and contemporary architecture
The Italian Futurist Book
MOMA PS1 - A series on the Futurists on their 100th
Futurism site at Anglia Ruskin University
The Futurist Cookbook reviewed
Futurist Manifesto on Dance
Suggested Video Links - Historical and Educational
A Futurism - The Dead Movement that Lives
A University of Toronto research assignment. This film explores Futurism, its manifestos and the relationship that modern Science-Fiction and cinema have with futurist imagery. This film demonstrates that futurism is not a dead movement because futurist inspirations are used widely in the modern world.
Architectural Futurism of the 1920's
A Visual Exploration of the Fritz Lang's Film Metropolis & its relationship to other Futurist works of the 1920s including Le Corbusier's The City of To-Morrow &Hugh Ferriss's The Metropolis of Tomorrow
Suggested Video Links - Artworks Historical and Contemporary
Some of these are in Italian
Here is a work done to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Futurists. An interpretation of Marinetti's ideas of 'aerospatial' works.
PierPaolo Koss-Andrey Bartenev Futurismo Pushkin Museum Moscow 2008
Carmelo Bene Futurismo
A great Italian actor recites Futurist text.
Performance SERATA FUTURISTA by PierPaolo Koss in Moscow
A performance which wants to homage the renowned "Futurist evenings"
introduced by Marinetti in Rome in 1913 in Sprovieri Gallery and in the Teatro dei Piccoli in Podrecca - where Marinetti and other famous protagonists of futurism, started a long season of animating and provocative "evenings", in the wake of cabaret and variety theatre.
Sperimentazioni di danza futurista
Macchina Del 3000 - Love of Two Locomotives for the Station Master
La cucina futurista
Thom Sokoloski trained in New York City at Ellen Stewart`s LaMama ETC, Edward Hawkins Dance and the Open Theatre. In Paris at L’Ecole Jacques Lecoq and LaMama Paris. Returning to Toronto he became one of the original founders of The Theatre Centre and the Native Theatre School. His earlier works included an acclaimed version of Strindberg’s Miss Julie at the Avignon off-Festival, Kamikaze at Café de la Danse in Paris, The Chairs by Ionesco and the punk musical Sid’s Kids inside Toronto’s legendary Voodoo Club. Meeting composer and visionary R. Murray Schafer, he directed many of his massive operatic works including RA at the Ontario Science Centre and Holland Festival, Hermes Trismegistos at the Liège Festival and inside Union Station for Toronto’s World Stage 92 and Requiems for the Party Girl at Harbourfront.
He produced Ahmed Hassan's 14 Remembered and Michael Nyman & Band at Massey Hall, the Master Musicians of Jajouka at Convocation Hall and the Sonic Boom series of contemporary opera and music. In co-production with the Banff Centre, Opéra de Montréal and Musica Festival in Strasbourg, he produced an international tour of Claude Vivier's opera Kopernikus.
His own works include the opera Electric Flesh with composer Wend Bartley, presented at the Opéra de Lyon, the libretto for Nosferatu for the Canadian Opera Company and Anxiety of Immortality at the Royal Ontario Museum. His final foray into the performing arts was Kafka in Love, a water-opera installation inside Hart House swimming pool with synchronized swimmers and a video-sound installation for the World Stage Festival 2003. Following this, he programmed the McLuhan Festival of the Future 04 and curated Interactive 05 for the Toronto International Art Fair with a focus on interactive media art in public spaces.
In 2006, was commissoned by the National Capital Commission in Ottawa and the Fallsview Casino and was in residence at La Société des arts technologiques [SAT] in Montreal. He then received his first major visual arts’ commission from curator Clara Hargittay and conceived Confinement of the Intellect for Scotiabanck’s Nuit Blanche 2006 in Toronto. Partnering with Jenny McCowan (Thomas+Guinevere), he then presented versions of the artwork, re-titled The Encampment on Roosevelt Island in New York City and Major's Hill Park in Ottawa.
He has curated for Le Labo - Contact 2007 and Zone A for Toronto’s ScotiaBanks's Nuit Blanche 2009. In 2010 created The River Peace (Thomas+Guinevere)for ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche in 2010 presented by The Distillery Historic District.
This year he and McCowan (Thomas+Guinevere) completed a 4-week residency in Mapoon, Queensland, Australia where they worked with Aboriginal artists in a small community to complete the first draft of their newest large-scale artwork The Ghost Net.
Next year Thomas+Guinevere have been commissioned by Luminato and Fort York to create the largest version of The Encampment to date. 200 tents will form a luminous grid inside Fort York and within each tent will be a visual experience of 200 civilian stories from the War of 1812.
For more information please visit Thomas+Guinevere.
Grounds' Map of The Distillery Historic District
Photos of The Disitllery Historic District.