Futurism: Art and the Future

Parsons School of Design: Sch. Art and Dsgn Hist and Th

Liberal Arts
Undergraduate Course
Degree Students
Futurism: Art and the Future
Spring 2024
Taught By: Nancy Grove
Section: A

CRN: 11688

Credits: 3

When the Italian Futurists published their first manifesto on the front page of a Paris newspaper in 1909, they were using modern communications media to try to create international buzz. The Futurists embraced modern technology and declared that museums and libraries were cemeteries and should be destroyed; they announced that they themselves would be annihilated in less than ten years. Creators of manifestos, poetry, painting, sculpture, photography, architectural projects and interior designs, the Futurists were committed to the idea that “art can only be violence, cruelty, and injustice.” After World War I, which they enthusiastically supported, some members of the group became embroiled in extreme Italian politics, and by the end of World War II their ideas seemed outdated. The class will explore the original Futurist group in depth, but will also consider how the notion of a connection between art and the future continued to play out in various iterations throughout the 20th century, via exhibitions and publications that linked art with new developments in science and technology. Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock (1970), for example, argued that the world needed “a science of futurism that could talk about the probability of things happening, an art of futurism that could explore what is possible, and a politics of futurism that could investigate what is preferable.” By the early 21st century, it was apparent that the science of futurism has been developed at the expense of the art and politics of futurism. Some observers see this as a reflection of the roles played by gender and race in determining who is a futurist. In 2015, for example, Rose Eveleth wrote an article for The Atlantic called “Why Aren’t There More Women Futurists?” in which she noted that although the World Future Society and the Association of Professional Futurists are currently headed by women, most well-known “futurists,” such as Aubrey de Gray, Elon Musk, and Sergey Brin, are white males. Hopefully, as previously underrepresented individuals contribute new perspectives and goals, the future of futurism will change accordingly. The aim of this class is to understand not only futurism’s past and present, but also what its future might be.

Open to: University undergraduate degree students, freshman and sophomores only. Pre-requisites: first-year university writing course and at least one prior history or methods course in art, media, film, or visual culture.

College: Parsons School of Design (PS)

Department: Sch. Art and Dsgn Hist and Th (ADHT)

Campus: New York City (GV)

Course Format: Seminar (R)

Modality: In-Person

Max Enrollment: 20

Add/Drop Deadline: February 4, 2024 (Sunday)

Online Withdrawal Deadline: April 16, 2024 (Tuesday)

Seats Available: Yes

Status: Closed*

* Status information is updated every few minutes. The status of this course may have changed since the last update. Open seats may have restrictions that will prevent some students from registering. Updated: 12:28pm EDT 5/20/2024

Meeting Info:
Days: Thursday
Times: 12:10pm - 2:50pm
Building: 6 East 16th Street
Room: 601
Date Range: 1/25/2024 - 5/9/2024