Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Futurist Toy

THE FUTURIST TOY by Giacomo Balla and Fortunato Depero from the Futurist Reconstruction of the Universe
In games and toys, as in all traditionalist manifestations, there is nothing but grotesque imitation, timidity (little trains, prams, puppets), immobile objects, stupid caricatures of domestic objects, antigymnastic and monotonous, which can only cretinize and depress a child. With plastic complexes we will construct toys which will accustom the child:
to completely spontaneous laughter (through absurdly comical tricks);
to maximum elasticity (without resorting to thrown projectiles, whip cracking, pin pricks, etc.);
to imaginative impulses (by using fantastic toys to be studied under a magnifying glass, small boxes to be opened at night containing pyrotechnic marvels, transforming devices, etc.)
to the continual exercise and sharpening of his sensitivity (in the unbounded realms of acute and exciting noises, smells and colors) to physical courage, to fighting and to war (with gigantic, dangerous & aggressive toys that will work outdoors).

After reading this, it seems clear to me they are talking about Japanese Robot toys with the shooting fists, transformations, missiles & the like. I still sometimes can't handle how amazing what the Futurists wrote was/is... they really saw the future, America is exactly what they are talking about, but as i say in my Futurist pamphlet (which you can order from me for $2), without the soul of the artist & the packaging of the poet, it has the same passeism as the Italy of their time. I profoundly believe that with just a small amount of guidance & direction, the things that so many Americans point to as excuses for their alienation: shopping malls, car culture, fast food, television, education, mass media on every level, everything really, can be sources of joy, inspiration & pride. The work of Andy Warhol points to this, the work of Gary Panter points to this & the formula is laid out clearly by the Italian Futurists.

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