Luigi Russolo, Futurist
Noise, Visual Arts, and the Occult
Publication Year: 2012
Published by: University of California Press
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TItle Page, Copyright, Dedication
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List of Illustrations
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Like every work that aspires to be scientific, this book is not the result of a solitary effort; rather, it is the product of a multifaceted dialogue. My thanks therefore go first to Mary Francis for having encouraged me from the incep-tion of this dialogue, for her constant and enthusiastic support, and for guid-ing me through the treacherous traps that accompany all publications....
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...on a summer evening the Russolos were entertaining a guest, when Russolo, plead-ing fatigue and sleepiness, went to bed. The lady and the guest continued chatting for a little longer, until she, the good nights said, retired. While ascending the inter-nal staircase, her gaze was attracted upward: something that had never happened to her. it was then that she saw a kind of white ghost appearing at the banister of ...
PART ONE. Luigi Russolo from the Formative Years to 1913
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1. Futurism as a Metaphysical Science
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...it is surprising how little the common perception of futurism has changed since 1967, when Maurizio Calvesi complained about the “reductive general idea of italian futurism as a simple exaltation of the machine and superficial reproduc-tion of movement.” uniF6DC Although the futurists did not always agree among them-selves on a definition of the movement, they certainly would not have shared a ...
2. Occult Futurism
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Celant maintains that both Balla and Bragaglia were pointed to the reading of occult texts by the brothers Arnaldo and Bruno ginanni Corradini, counts of Ravenna. given the brothers’ precocious interest in the occult sciences, their influence on the futurist movement in occult matters during the early years may have been decisive.uniF6DC Describing them as “the most esoteric futurists,” Cel-...
3. Spotlight on Russolo
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At its core, the art of noises was for Luigi Russolo a process of conjuring the spirits, a process he divided into two parallel moments: one in which noise became spiritualized, the other in which spirits materialized. Russolo first painted this process in 1911, and he began to put it into practice a year later.some scholars have mentioned the relationship between Russolo and the ...
4. Painting Noise: La musica
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Russolo’s interest in synesthesia and the occult is most in evident in what is undoubtedly his best-known work, the large oil painting La musica. This painting is centrally important to my investigation, as it sets out the poetics of music that Russolo was working out in the years immediately preceding his Buzzi has confirmed the importance of this work in Russolo’s artistic and ...
5. Russolo and Synesthesia
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An in-depth analysis of La musica is essential to understanding Russolo’s re-search in the transition years immediately preceding his manifesto of March 11, 1913, “L’arte dei rumori: Manifesto futurista,” and fully to contextualize the art of noises that the manifesto inaugurated. Read in this context, the painting can be seen to set out a clear and well-conceived poetics of music, and to exhibit ...
6. Russolo’s Metaphysics
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Futurism is concerned with the essence of reality, because all that exists is essentially composed of vibrations of different intensities in the ether. Like Boccioni and Carrà, Russolo was convinced that an artist’s true objective was to penetrate bodies and discover this essence. Futurists believed that investiga-tion, analysis, and comprehension of the real ought to be guided by an episte-...
PART TWO. The Art of Noises and the Occult
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7. Intonarumori Unveiled
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Russolo considered the intonarumori to be more than simply musical instru-ments. But what then does that make the special compositions Russolo wrote for the intonarumori, which he first called reti di rumori (networks of noises) and then spirali di rumori (spirals of noises)? And what is the real significance of Risveglio di una città (Awakening of a city), the most famous of these spirali?uniF6DC...
8. The Spirali di Rumori
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...on November 1, 1913, Lacerba published Russolo’s article “Conquista totale dell’enarmonismo mediante gli intonarumori futuristi” (total conquest of en-harmonism through the futurist intonarumori). in it Russolo defines his first two works, Risveglio di Capitale and Convegno d’automobili e d’aeroplani, as reti (networks) of noises. A few months later, on March 1, 1914, Lacerba published ...
9. The Arte dei “Romori”
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Russolo scholars share a particular admiration for the speed with which the artist completed his instrument-building projects.uniF6DC Maffina, for instance, in his biography of Russolo, writes: “it is nothing less than surprising that in such a brief period — not just the crafting time needed for their construction (which was perhaps entrusted to various artisans) but also the study time for under-...
10. Controversial Leonardo
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The futurists took a rather contradictory attitude toward Leonardo, which can only be explained if one separates his work from its canonization. Futurist public attacks on Leonardo centered not on his work but on what he repre-sented of the past. typically, futurist rage toward the past has been explained through a hermeneutical script by Marinetti, according to which the obsessive ...
11. Third Level
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Beyond the process of spiritualizing / sanctifying the noise (first level) and that of synthesizing different noises into unity (second level), Russolo contemplated a third level. During the creative process described so far, the inspired artist is transported to a higher plane of consciousness, which allows him to compre-hend the world from a privileged point of view. At this stage the artist enters ...
Conclusion: Materialist Futurism?
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The question whether there are such things as black or red magic, medium-istic séances or ideoplastic materializations, is not germane to my discussion. But what about the intonarumori? Were they or were they not a “portal to the beyond”? or were they only a metaphor for it? That, too, does not matter. Art-works are screens over which artists project their (he)art’s desires, their poet-...
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Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2012