Occult Futurism

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:
Occult Futurism

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This chapter discusses futurists interested in the occult sciences to illustrate the preoccupations of a spiritual, ontological order within the futurist thinking. The idea that futurist art does not intend to represent the exterior and sensory reality of the world—which the futurists believed had characterized the aesthetic of the impressionist painters—recurs in many of their theoretical writings. Futurism, the futurists claimed, instead sought to re-create in art the true essence of reality, as spiritualized by the subject observing it. If impressionism allowed itself to be enchanted by the illusoriness and sensuality of the surface, and cubism, prisoner of a coldly static aesthetic (and therefore from a Bergsonian point of view, evoking death images), was a “frozen fabrication of images,” then futurism, in exalting (psychic) energy, placed itself in opposition to both those currents as a movement of spiritual vitality and depth.

Keywords: futurists; futurist thinking; reality; occult sciences

Chapter.  11125 words. 

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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