Response to the Futurist’s Manifesto: “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting”

September 15th, 2008 | BY JASON SAFIR

The objectives of new media differ considerably than to the ideas expressed in the Futurist’s manifesto “Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting”. While both of their perspectives share a desire to modernize art by adapting it to the changing world, the Futurist’s greatly opposed two things that new media now embraces: the use of technology in art and the notion of mechanical reproduction. Coming from a new media background, the Futurist’s outlined declarations stated in their manifesto feels harsh and stubborn; however, I feel a great deal of respect for what they stood for at the same time.

A painting is more than just its subject. The Futurists believed that every detail in a painting has an effect on the context of the overall picture. The Futurist’s ultimate argument was that pictures are absolute: they have the spiritual power to give off a dynamic sensation onto its viewer if they are interpreted in intellectually. Coming back to today, this argument is very relevant in how we interpret multimedia experiences. Many details and aspects are usually ignored by the viewer, yet they play a great significance in the output of their experiences. The Futurist’s declared that innate complementariness is an absolute necessity in painting. Our psyche has a habit of blocking things out, yet elements that are ignored sub-consciously affect how we see things. If we make a conscious effort to become familiar with the inter-disciplinary elements involved in all art forms, our eyes will become trained to see more. I believe that an application of the Futurist’s approach of dynamism would help us become more engaged to art pieces, enhancing our overall experiences to them in a new light.

Any artist working in new media has to oppose many of the ideas aggressively expressed by the Futurists. However, it is important to recognize that their ideas have had an immense impact in the way we understand and produce art today, in other words, postmodernism.