August 3rd, 2010

The Futurist Manifesto and Bikes

I turned sharply back on my tracks with the mad intoxication of puppies biting their tails, and suddenly there were two cyclists disapproving of me and tottering in front of me like two persuasive but contradictory reasons. Their stupid swaying got in my way. What a bore! Pouah! I stopped short, and in disgust hurled myself — vlan! — head over heels in a ditch.
          —Marinetti, 1909

That's right, the epiphonal car crash in Marinetti's seminal manifesto, was caused by two cyclists, who got in his way. Here I was thinking Modernist artists put cars and bikes more or less on equal footing, but no, some among the avant garde were declaring war from day one. But of course the emotional thrust of the machine age would be pro-machine!