06 November 2010

Utopia and Dystopia: Futurism and the Brave New World


Futurists of the early twentieth century admired speed, technology, modernity and youth. They hated everything old advocating the burning of libraries and the flooding of museums. They embraced the brave new world. Primarily an Italian movement it began in 1909 and eventually spread to Russian, England and beyond. Luigi Russolo (1885-1947) was an Italian Futurist painter and composer. His painting Solidity of Fog, is a part of his brief ouvre as a painter choosing instead to create Futuristic music. Italian architect Antonio Sant'Elia (1888-1916) was influenced by the industrial cities of the United States and modernViennese architecture. He did a series of drawings for a futuristic New City. Sant'Elia was killed while fighting in World War l. Although many of his drawings were never built they inspired the works of other architects and designers. Not everyone considered Futurism a utopia, English writer Aldous Huxley's (1894-1963) novel Brave New World depicts a dystopian future. In this controlled society, there is no passion or love, and the individual is reduced to a faceless member of a color coded larger group.

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