Retro Futurism - Politics | PoFo

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By Odiseizam
futurists were technocratic utopians of the beginning of the past century, which later influenced every retro-futurist trend in the decades ahead, an era of the Moderna where everyone were holding to something from the previous while reinventing the new variation of the future society ... for most of them capitalism per-se was norm, tho with exceptions that even later shouted at least on the silverscreen why such delusions even to exist as capitalistic ...

first of all they were poets painters and architects, but think that most recognizable elaboration of their Vision was through the movie Metropolis by Fritz Lang where he ridiculed the philosophical trend of deus-ex-machina [1][1][1] tho where it gives clear perspective what any possible technocratic and transhumanistic future will bring ...

... but the picture without frame is not complet thing, what would be the italian ideologists of Futurism which emerged before ww-I in architecture [2][2] stretching their logic even on lifestyle [2] so I'll speculate that futurism was true right wing surrealism which later had found counterpart in the left wing surrealism [3][3] as if there was futurist utopian vibe around the left and the right intellectual european cream that was dreaming for neverland through own prisms ...

    Marinetti, who admired speed, had a minor car accident outside Milan in 1909 when he veered into a ditch to avoid two cyclists. He referred to the accident in the Futurist Manifesto: the Marinetti who was helped out of the ditch was a new man, determined to end the pretense and decadence of the prevailing Liberty style. He discussed a new and strongly revolutionary programme with his friends, in which they should end every artistic relationship with the past, "destroy the museums, the libraries, every type of academy". Together, he wrote, "We will glorify war—the world's only hygiene—militarism, patriotism, the destructive gesture of freedom-bringers, beautiful ideas worth dying for, and scorn for woman"

    The marriage between art and reaction is nothing new. In the 20thcentury one of the earliest orchids to announce the birth of a fascistic form of art were The Futurists. Even now, the Futurist texts provide a clear understanding of how the seeds of fascist thought can be metamorphosed into a witch’s brew of poetry. The founder of the movement, the Italian Filippo Tommaso Emilio Marinetti, produced a body of critical writings which glorify speed, technology, war and nationalism. In his The Foundation and Manifesto of Futurism, Marinetti proclaims, “we glorify war, sole cleanser of the world.” More eloquent exclamations would announce, “let’s kill off the moonlight” and “Yes, our very sinews insist on war and scorn for women.” Futurist poetics glorified masculinity and scorned the warm ideals of romantic love, for to live meant to take, to destroy the old world and create something terrible and new. Anarchists and Marxists were condemned as delusional romantics, fighting for a world that could never be. Interestingly enough, Marinetti was never an anti-Semite, and once Benito Mussolini took power he encouraged the Duce not to carry out ethnic cleansing against the Italian Jewish population. Instead Marinetti’s philosophy was a kind of pure right-wing romanticism, a radical right-wing vision which ran counter to the more leftist, anarchic tendencies of the Dadaists and later Surrealists.

what is less noted tho, is the background behind futurism, which in Italy was fascism, thus it could be said definitely is word for capitalism, but dont forget aristocrats were just the prime ideologists behind it, while socialists around Mussolini should have expand it later ... tho that didnt happen, and after ww2 it got new globalist perspective through CIAM architecturally, altho even earlier pushed as such trend [1]

Back to the futurists: Italian art in the era of Fascism

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By Odiseizam
if ideologies are the raw food ingridients, then the art is their "final" meal as dessert ...

Odiseizam wrote: stretching their logic even on lifestyle [2]

this futurist fantasmagoria strangely looks like protopitch for Codex Alimentarius [1][1][2] tho codex that is left-wing conspiracy!

The very first rule mentioned here is no pasta, “as it causes lassitude, pessimism, and a lack of passion.”

yes we could argue that "La cuisine futuriste" is right-wing Futurist Codex but arranged in way poetic epicurean manner than the ideas of the left-wing utopians that push for instant superhumanity as result of given lifestyle standardization ... thus its not at all wrong to be claimed that Tommaso&co were forerunners of the "modern" kitchen chemistry trend [3][4][4]

Futurists were way ahead of the curve on molecular gastronomy. Obsessed as they were with modernity and machinery, the futurists were big on kitchen gadgets, including using chemical indicators to determine if food needed more seasoning, and colloidal mills to pulverize food. Some of their kitchen equipment was a bit more questionable, like ozonizers “to give the food the smell of ozone,” ultraviolet light that would purportedly “activate vitamins,” and electrolyzers “to decompose items into new forms and properties,” which sounds disconcertingly vague. [1]
By late
Think of writing as being a little like cooking.

You need to do your prep work.

You also need to do things in order.

What you actually cooked up here is a mess. You do that a lot.

You seem to be trying to link some weird, 100 year old, fascist thinking, to the food development and experimentation that is happening now.

That development and experimentation is always happening. My mom was an engineer, and she was on the team that developed the first boxed cake mixes in the 1950s. That is a constant, has been for longer than I've been alive, and I can remember dinosaurs..

I haven't gotten to try much of the experimentation, but I have occasionally. In the 1970s, Maine promoted mussels as a food. Nobody in the country (for the most part) ate them before then. I'll try anything, so I was one of the first. They were good.

The more exotic techniques I haven't seen as much. But that's also the way it always is. The cost is usually such that few can afford such things.

What this has to do with Nazis beats the hell out of me.

When I think of changes in our diet, in the future, I would guess that it will involve a lot less meat, and a lot more bugs. I also think most meat will eventually come out of factories, not pigs and cows. They can do that now in the lab.

You seem to be trying to find the connecting links that not only tie things together, but suggest how things will be.

That's been one of my passions. I suggest starting here, Cities and the Wealth of nations. It's a short read, and easy to read. There are no numbers, it's more like a history. Your library can scare up a copy for you, ask your librarian. I like it enough that I bought a copy when it came out. It was called a classic before it was even released.
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By Odiseizam
    late wrote:You seem to be trying to link some weird, 100 year old, fascist thinking, to the food development and experimentation that is happening now.

no You got it wrong, that second foody post is just digression , maybe lacking one more as later western comparison but from the left-wing utopians through example of future hospital food services in uK, and I can continue to digress like this further but definitely its not topic about retro-cooking ...

the aim of this thread is to explore the relation that have led to postmodern society through the moderna and particularly futurism, which think that as newskool variation still rests on them altho less retro like in '60s and '70s ... simply, jumping directly to that retro-futurist era without exploring its earlier influence it would be wrong, probably the mess You see is due to lack of this kind of intro in the first post ...

Your read-suggestion is ok, but more like postmodern study that dealth with future society [1][1] thus have no direct connecting to the Retro Futurism of '60s and '70s ...

    What this has to do with Nazis beats the hell out of me.

german-socialism is nowhere mentioned in any context, dont jump with conclusions, that one has less futuristic and more neoclassical path as neopaganism!
By late
My take from that is that you were mostly babbling.

There was one sentence where you talked about what you were trying to do, but that didn't make sense to me.

I had the same problem when I was young, me and my writing were not grounded.
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By Odiseizam
@late hm, call it as You like, to me is exploring some topic through fractal reasoning i.e. in same time in the first post suggesting that there are two streams of utopians in the moderna ... about the style yes it was suggested by others too that is overwhelming but again You can just run through the links and You'll get my point ... actually You had issue also with other reasoning earlier [1] and I'll guess I need to be more academic than poetic in my expression here on PoFo, what to say habit is habit ...
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By Odiseizam
right time to mention that those left-wing technocrats were more vigorously laying path toward future society, actually all of them were building upon the previous enlightenment utopianism [1] what later was pushed by nazis as ubermensch ideal or bolshevik were chasing the newsovietman, but what is not regularly noted is that freemasons are behind all just using this or that political ism so they can reach their enlightenment goals [1]

... from this respect we could see continuation of the european utopian socialists who mostly gathered around the architectural ground standardizing through CIAM direction for future planning [1][1] that got its brutalistic momentum in whole europe and usA [1][1] and what I think is very alive as reasoning even today [1] and further reimagined as ultimate solution [1] with clear agendas behind that stretched around all western realm [1][1] but the problem is that "they" whoever they are as elites are experimenting with the masses without their consent or welcoming them on honest debate, just as in nazi-germany "they" are imposing ultimate leadership that must be followed without any skepticism, despite all the cold dystopian effects that revealed themselves through the past ghettoization experiments usually seen as ergonomically imminent [1][1] I'll say for easier control and manipulation of the human resources and their redistribution throughout the system ...

all in all left-wing "futurists" strive for minimalism coz efficiency, dreaming to build selfsufficient future utopian society, probably automaton that will thrive as borg collective, what as concept was dreamed through the art as delicious dessert enough long so it could be forgotten easily [1] the question is does this dream is too-big-to-fail and what will be the consequences so it would have more lasting taste!?
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By Odiseizam
some say futurism went in oblivion with Tommasos death in 1944, what I think its not true, yes definitely didnt became widespread trend, but resurfaced as light organic counterpart to the heavy brutalistic (left-wing monocultural constructivist) patterns and grids, what eventually could be called '50s fractal architecture in face of Felix Candela and his ferrocement experiments (following the earlier pioners EduardoTorroja and Robert Maillart) that essentially didnt get large swing as urban trend but rather artistic excursion in and around the commieblock reality that followed after ww2, and as such excursion even reemerged in the postmodern period of '80s and '90s but reshaped with glass and aluminium that eventually later got even own kitch vibe [1]

what is more appealing is that his light fractalism [1][1][1][2] can be easily applied nowadays to landscape urbanism [1] and unlike the rigid brutalistic massiveness is more suitable and repairable as aseismic ferrocement structure for earthquake prone locations, yet still even today is avoided regularly, probably because is way cheaper construction option for fractal architecture ... too be more interesting with the new types of rebars this would be even more attractive option in the near future [2][2]

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By Odiseizam
in some way FelixC is retrofuturist, but his work didnt got momentum so it cant be said that his excursions are right-wing utopian formalism, and as more progressive rightish expression of retro futurism in west could be seen the emergence of Eams Couple in usA altho more in the design outlines [1] while their architectural postwar experiments were minimalistic bauhaus compromise as result of the weak economic cicumstances [1] altho because introduced as alu constructions as such they didnt got also enough swing so they would become housing trend, tho as idea nowadays is resurfacing as alu-prefabs [1] think that eventually they are the prime culprit that inspired other artists back in '50s and '60s to express themselves retrofuturistic tho mostly through plastics [2] what culminated around the '70s sci-fi movie trend [3][3]

    lets say left-wing brutalists got the lesson and acknowledged the fact that they lack utopian monumentalism in their heavy minimalism, so they jump on the sci-fi bandwagon and introduced reform in CIAM through the japanese Methabolist Movement [1][1] fronted by Kenzo Tange [1][1] that as global experiment they tried to instigate the postearthquake rebuilding of Skopye in '64 [1] but which eventually was obstructed as such by tito and didnt became blueprint for further replication ...

maybe in similar manner earlier popped up Brasilia as profuturistic reflex, but cant tell for sure how far Oscar Niemeyer was bugged by LeCorbusier&co [1][1] but definitely he was tropicalist influenced by FelixC [2][2] who later when he got chance for Brasilia have had to follow the socialistic lines [3][3] tho probably he became socialist too [3] thus that would be the fist retro-futurist amalgam between the airy right and solid left architectural utopianism, tho not completely because the organic forms are just centered and not at all interwoven across whole urban landscape i.e. as such they are not continuous organic fractal but partial organic makeup ...
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By Odiseizam
it could be argued that communism and socialism contributed to the modern art on big hand through avantgarde vibe, but particularly in Yugoslavia that happened exactly after ciam metabolic experiment of master plan for Skopye [1][1] as if artists got excuse to dive in "futurism" longing for outworldly touch - "so from the middle of 1960s, and especially from 1970s, the re-discovery of Yugoslav early avant-garde had also started" [1] what have introduced some unique pieces of monuments [1][1][1][2] still the ultra-flat reality was norm till '70s when things started to loosen a bit, but have in mind tito after the split with stalin opened Yugoslavia hugely to western influence what was noticeable especially in the art sphere [3] so along came ciam-metabolists after followed by sfry-post'avantgarde ...

    ... aside from the flat-vibe one particular way for opening was through the local EXPO pavilion architecture, particularly fair pavilions in Belgrade [1] Zagreb [1][1] and Skopye [1] the last one as could be seen in the footnote recently demolished coz bipartisan urban mafia urge probably for symbolical warning that the country has no more innovative will for the global market ... anyway that was exactly Retro Futuristic momentum that was accompanied by retro-futuristic industrial design, in ex-yu that was almost the drop that made the social life somehow uniquely esoterical for socialist country as in hidden rush for extraterrestrial touch or silhouettes in the everyday consumeristic items, yes it was just a copy of the western sci-fi trend but here it was some kind more special coz it wasnt so abundant so it was happiest moment for any citizen to poses some colorful slick thing that have fluid futuristic feel ... even those that havent any means for such luxury had have opportunity to reach it through the rounded edge kiosks K67 or eggy iskra phone boots, design vibe that ended in MoMa too [1][1][1]

actually in the world this trend of Retro Futurism through '60s and '70s was exactly maintained through the World EXPO exhibitions and fairs alike, or the utopian promulgation of Disney EPCOT ... its sadly how consumerism twisted its will to more trivial vibe [1] altho it is somehow excusable coz its landscaping spinn as future idea for "globalistic heaven on earth" [1][1] I am just not sure whether he was latent socialist [2] national-socialist [2] or anti-communist [2] probably he had reasons for all moods whenever they animated him :) surely FBI too [3] probably this was most cheerful utopian envisioning that still appeals to childrens hearts, the question is could we all become childlike futuristic dreamers!? Yes We Can, all the innovation in the design field has like it or not either retrofuturist or contemporary touch, what practically hold us all to the futurama vibe eg. the remote "cintchrols" or remote "cellphones" maybe microwave ovens too, but for sure latest high-tech Cars that almost if they cant waited when they will start to fly ... what is wrong with this picture do is the recent eugenic revival as art through the crispr revolution coz smarter offspring, and that brings us rather close to retro-futuristic dystopian horrors coz eventual chimeras around than any future human utopians ... my neighbor has goat ears and lions nose with fish eye, can I mate with him mom - asks the girl from the human minority tribe in future-york somewhere in Africa ...

Conceived Space and Governmentality

In the first place, there are works that elaborate what we could describe as a Lefebvrian conceived space - sketching, thinking, and laying out the utopia of fun. Whether the underlying motivations are base or sublime, planned or ‘non-planned’ - in the exhibition, both Walt Disney’s dream of what he called EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) and Cedric Price’s Fun Palace are presented - enjoyment is objectified as a supreme function of architecture: ‘We have entered now into an age of leisure [...] with the equipment to enjoy it.’3

One of the most conspicuous aspects of the development of the utopia of fun - entirely missing in the exhibition, unfortunately - is the ambiguous relation between the ‘classic’ architectural avant-garde and post-war neo-avant-garde. This ambiguity is based on a tension between planning and spontaneity, between the respective roles of planning
professionals and ordinary people in shaping urban space. The omission of this question is surprising in light of today’s omnipresence of participatory projects.


The questions formulated by the post-war avantgarde are questions of tastes, references, and lifestyles. They are questions of leisure, culture (in its contemporary sense), enjoyment, and general well-being. As such, they are closely related to the population’s conduct. The obvious paradox is that being the target of discourses, projects, statistics,
and evaluations, the sphere of subjectivity and intimacy itself becomes an object of public planning and decision-making. We can thus say: it is in the utopia of the post-war avant-garde that the regime of governmentality achieves its architectural expression

No need to say that EPCOT voices all this explicitly: ‘EPCOT [...] will be like the city of tomorrow ought to be. It will be a city that caters to the people as a service function. It will be a planned, controlled community, a showcase for American industry and research, schools, cultural and educational opportunities. In EPCOT there will be [...] no slum areas
because we will not let them develop [...] There will be no retirees. Everyone must be employed.’10
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By Odiseizam
ultra-left-wing utopians on other hand, what would be bolsheviks, altho through their avantgarde introduced constructivism [1][1] still the same didnt became dominant art movement in the state, maybe due to the personal taste of Stalin who obviously preferred surreal neoclasicism known as Art Deco [2] what eventually became blueprint for New Soviet Moscow [2][2] what after the stalinka towers ended and leaned again to more constructivist vibe [2] which as "ideological cubism" I think even influenced the "japanese futurism" [3][3] although japanese rarely admit that, trying to find all kind of excuses that their modern reasoning was authentic ...

    Hajime Yatsuka traced the origin of both Le Curbisier and Tange's technocracy to the ideology of constructivism of the twenty century. By constructivism he not only referred to the Russian awant-garde artistic and architectural movement in the 1920s, but also the socio-economic thought of constructivism. He cited the definition by Friedrich Hayek, an economist and Nobel Prize laureat, that constructivism was the technocrats belief in the capacity to control the total economy of country.

    Such a notion was evidented in Russian constructivst architects utopian projects for socialist cities and Le Curbusier's Radiant City designed for a syndicalist society. The same technoutopian notion persisted in Tange's urban projects trouh 1960s. [1]

actually Art Deco could be considered right-wing aristocratic futurism and coz its historical plagiarism literary understood as True Retro Futurism, just lacks flying cars and laser guns around the architecture, vibe that can be found usually in animated movies [1][1][1][2][3][4] yet there are also many classical mostly detective movies that has the same mood tho with silver bullets and two-tone tires ...

    In decoration, many different styles were borrowed and used by Art Deco. They included pre-modern art from around the world ... Other styles borrowed included Russian Constructivism and Italian Futurism, as well as Orphism, Functionalism, and Modernism in general. [1]

    Art Deco became more geometric and linear as objects were increasingly mass produced and as the United States supplanted France as the spiritual centre of the movement. In America, the style found expression in objects as diverse as locomotives, skyscrapers, roadside diners, radio cabinets, jukeboxes, and advertising displays [1]

lets say AD is little bit rudimental noirlike variation of futurism, some kind of modern reinvention of the past ghotic+baroque mood but now industrialized , that to some extent has became Institutional Architecture in usA in the first half of the past century, which eventually was suppressed by the corporatist postmodern steel and glass that just recently started to fractalize more than usual, now just waiting the day to embrace its earlier conceiver Art Deco [1]

... I can just imagine such eclectic syncretism of styles poured in large quantities on one place , hm maybe it could be recognized in the recent reflex of the project Skopye'14 [1][1][1] which still is more similar to the latest chinese styrofoam ghost cities that the art-deco massive monumental stonework, at least chinese had have such syncretic tradition to relate to [2][3] although all that is reflex of the architectural decadence in the american prohibition era, tho even that just posh european copy!

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By froggo
I haven't read all your posts yet because I am close to my bedtime, but I was looking up more about futurism and I was confused about a couple things, I hope you can clarify.
If futurism was a rejection of all things of the past and in praise of new forms, new institutions, scientific progression etc. then why is it that war was highly praised (something which is very ancient, and which most Utopian hopefuls would wish eviscerated from the ideal future) and why was masculinity the dominant form, when masculinity had already reigned superior for many centuries. Woman empowerment was finally seeing headway in various sections of the globe, so wouldn't their suppression be considered a traditionalist stance, something of the past?
I understand of course that if one wants to consider the concept of glory (because I cannot help but feel that this is the root of the creation of this manifesto) one has to look at historical instances where glory can be deciphered from the carnage of warfare or from the pomposity of estates, and it would be a simple scheme to imitate previous instances of glory-attainment as opposed to conceiving new forms of praiseworthiness. Nationalistic glory only can come at the expense of others, and it seems to me that this was reactionary more than it was in any way progressive. It wished to maintain the imbalance, it was threatened by the ideas of equality, by the evidence of actual social trajectories.
I guess I am just bothered by the fact that this movement has taken the word 'Future', when almost everything it espouses is not what I think of when I envision the Future (but I also live in their Future so that presumably changes things :p ).

------okay i have finally read your posts and see that my above questions have nothing to do with what you are talking about, but i will leave them standing anyways as perhaps, with a better understanding of why futurism formed to begin with, i could have a better total understanding of what it hopes to accomplish.

----- here's some questions and comments I have gathered after some reflection on the matter;

it was more of a consideration of the aesthetics of futurism that appealed to retro-futurists than it was the ideology; so it could be said that retro-futurism was essentially the common factor of recycling trends to keep up the outpour of cultural commodity while waiting for the next novelty to arise.

Would the rapid output of CGI films showcasing masculine heroes waging war and overcoming villains be considered futurism?

How much of a role does architecture actually play on the economic mindset of the times? Does seeing a sparse futuristic building create a vision within the beholder that allows them to reform how they believe society ought to conduct itself?

This line made me laugh out loud!;
odeiszan wrote:... my neighbor has goat ears and lions nose with fish eye, can I mate with him mom - asks the girl from the human minority tribe in future-york somewhere in Africa ...
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