Back to the Futurism: Otis College Celebrates Movement’s 100th Anniversary

One hundred years ago next Friday, F. T. Marinetti and his speed-loving Italian chums stood “on the world’s summit” to “launch once again [their] insolent challenge to the stars!” That is, they published “The Futurist Manifesto” on the front page of Le Figaro, kicking off the avant-garde movement to the bedfuddlement of the “gangrene of professors, archaeologists, tour guides, and antiquaries” that they so despised. The Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles isn’t about to let this milestone anniversary pass without the quirky celebration it deserves.

On Friday, February 20, Otis will host “Futurism + 100,” an evening of music, poetry readings, short films, and art. Attendees, who are advised to wear Futurist attire (i.e., red, black, or white), can sip Futurist cocktails (“Polibibita” Negronis) while listening to readings of parolibere poems and newly translated Marinetti writings. A Futurist DJ set will feature the remixed music and voices of the movement’s principal figures, while a screening of the short film Amor Pedestre promises a love story told by focusing solely on the characters’ feet. Once you’re good and punchy, catch the premiere of “1080 Punch-ups,” an interactive video installation by Alessandro Marianantoni and Gianluca Rizzo, projected on the “punch-card” facade of the Otis campus main building (constructed in 1962 for IBM’s West Coast headquarters).

Can’t make it to LA? Celebrate at home by toasting to the Futurists’ pioneering experiments in typography (think hand-drawn typefaces and stunning typographic collages). Recommended reading: Alan Bartram‘s Futurist Typography and the Liberated Text, published by Yale University Press.