"The vorticists did not have many members; nor did the movement last long, because of unfortunate timing - it formed in 1914 as Europe hurtled towards war. By 1918 there was not much appetite for dogmatic groups such as theirs.
Nevertheless, the group holds an important place in 20th-century British art history.
'They were the first abstract modernist group in Britain,' said Stephens. 'It inevitably comes out of the revolution of cubism, but then, so does everything in the 20th century.'
They were part of a maelstrom of new, aggressive art 'ism' movements, not least the one practised by the Italian futurists, who were, in Lewis's eyes, the bad guys.
Stephens said: 'Unlike the futurists, who celebrate the energy of the machine and actual war as a purging force, the vorticists were engaged in more universal ideas of identity, time and movement in a philosophical sense.'"
(Mark Brown, 13 June 2011, The Guardian)
Exhibition: "Bruno Munari: My Futurist Past", Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39A Canonbury Square, London, N1 2AN, From 19 September 2012 to 23 December 2012.
Bruno Munari was a "founding member of the Movimento Arte Concreta (M.A.C.) in Milan, which was established towards the end of the 1940s. This acted as a catalyst for new developments in Italian abstraction, and aspired to bring about a 'synthesis of arts' in which traditional painting would be complemented by new tools of communication, demonstrating the possibility of a convergence of art and technology, creativity and functionality. Reflecting his belief that technological advances expanded the artist's expressive vocabulary, by 1950 Munari had begun to experiment with creating works by means of projecting light through compositions made from a wide range of materials such as coloured and transparent plastic, organic elements and Polaroid filters, producing beautiful and intriguing images of vast dimensions."
(Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 2012)
Fig.1 Bruno Munari, Aeroplanes and Archers, 1932, mixed media, 34.8 x 24.8cms Courtesy Massimo & Sonia Cirulli Archive
"This film, the first declared 'sans scenario' in its text introduction, is a collage. The swinging chrome balls, the gears of machines, the dancing bottles, the rotating disks juxtaposed with femine lips and eyes are all awaiting the female form trudging endlessly up and down the stairs with her burden. The symbols seem obvious to us in an age of technology and sexual advertisement/liberation."
(Ben Howell Davis, 1988)
Ben Howell Davis (1988). "Ballet Mécanique", from Man Ray multimedia application as referenced in Multimedia Computing, Case Studies from Project Athena, Mathew Hodges and Russell Sassnet, eds, Chapter 9, pg 117.
Fig. 1-2 Fernand Léger "La Ballet Mécanique".
Fig.3 Fernand Léger, production still from "La Ballet Mécanique 1923-24, / 35mm, black and white and colour, mono, 14 minutes, France, French Intertitles (English Subtitles) / Directors: Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy / Image courtesy: Institut Français
"Based on the car crash that inspired Marinetti's revelation of the Futurist Manifesto in 1909, Luca Buvoli has created a sculptural work that depicts the 1908 Fiat in motion, the instant before the impact. Marinetti's famous 'crash' has been the subject of various critical interpretations (some even questioning the accidental nature of the event, apparently all set up in a theatrical way)."
[A sculpture by Luca Buvoli (2008) referencing the nascent Futurist movement.]
"Multimedia: From Wagner to Virtual Reality is an overview of the pioneering artists and scientists who have brought about the dissolution of boundaries that have traditionally existed between the artistic and technological disciplines. The course surveys the work and ideas of artists who have explored new interactive and interdisciplinary forms, as well as engineers and mathematicians who have developed information technologies and influential scientific and philosophical ideologies that have influenced the arts. Seminal artistic movements and genres will be explored, such as: the Futurists, Bauhaus, kinetic sculpture, Happenings, video art, electronic theater, etc. It is a study of the invention of information technologies and new human-machine paradigms that have come to define the medium of the personal computer, including: cybernetics, augmented intelligence, hypertext, human-computer symbiosis, graphical user interface, etc.
This broad historical analysis helps illuminate an understanding of the emerging digital arts and its aesthetics, strategies, trends, and socio-cultural aspirations. Central to this analysis is an understanding of key concepts for the interpretation of evolving multimedia forms: including integration, interactivity, hypermedia, immersion, and narrativity. The course reveal hows these primary elements of contemporary media have roots in electronic and performance art prior to the digital era."