Futurism as a Metaphysical Science

Luciano Chessa

in Luigi Russolo, Futurist

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780520270633
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520951563 | DOI:
Futurism as a Metaphysical Science

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It has been maintained that interest in the occult arts and metapsychics can be attributed to the futurists' attraction to the then current understanding of science. There were those who, considering the future of scientific research, maintained that science should include among its fields of inquiry the study of paranormal phenomena and confer legitimacy upon it, since this was the natural direction toward which science was already tending. This view may be true, but it offers only a partial picture of futurism, and it bears the further defect of again putting science and technology at the center of the futurist poetic meditation, as if they were the end of this meditation instead of the means. This chapter considers the movement's interest in the occult—alongside its interest in science and technology and its greatly underexplored interest in altered states of consciousness—as a means to achieve out-of-body experiences. Such experiences, in turn, would permit the futurists to observe reality from a hyperreal point of view, as well as to recreate reality through a new, spiritual mode of artistic creation. The chapter discusses Marinetti's ectoplasm, Boccioni's sixth sense, and Balla's occult signature.

Keywords: occult; science; technology; futurists; metaphysics; Marinetti; Boccioni; Balla

Chapter.  11728 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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