TRANSVISION 2010 Toward Scientific Futurism

Some translated excerpts of Roberto Guerra’s TRANSVISION 2010 Verso il Futurismo Scientifico (original in Italian), with comments. Roberto is one of the leading Italian Futurist (not Neo-Futurist: Futurism is always Neo) artists and, like all Futurist writers, he uses language in a mercurial and unconventional way which makes his writings a pleasure to read, but difficult to translate. My translation is understandable, but does not have the futurist sparks of the original, and I encourage those who read Italian to read the original.

“Soon (October 2010, Milano) starts Transvision 2010, the periodic event of the Transhumanist Movement, the futurology of the age of Internet, globally disseminated. A Great Event once promoted by the Humanity + (ex W.T.A) mother-ship. This edition is organized by the Italian Transhumanist Association (AIT).”

Of course, the “mother-ship” Humanity+ will be represented by many participants and speakers, including the Chair David Orban, the Vice Chair Ben Goertzel and the Executive Director Alex Lightman. From this article is evident that TransVision 2010 will not be focused only on contemporary and future scientific advances, but also on the synergies between Science and Art, of which contemporary Italian Futurism represents one of the best examples.

“The AIT, in a recent and very significant turn of the movement toward activism in the media, collaborates with the promoters of contemporary Futurism: Graziano Cecchini (well known for the Red Fountain performance and other futurist actions, the only italian artist in the Taschen Usa 2010 catalog), Antonio Saccoccio (the net-futurist digital natives of the web), Giovanni Tuzet (teacher at the Bocconi in Milano, theorist of logic futurism) and the author [Roberto] (writer and electronic poet). A futurology-transhumanism-neofuturism synergy, officially defined in the year of the futurist centenary, with the live centenary in Ferrara-emphasized by Rai Due [Italian television] in The Future of Futurism… and the book published by the AIT Divenire 3 Futurismo: the re-invention of futurism in its essence, dynamic and techno-scientific ante litteram….”

Transhumanists of the world, unite and come to Milan to meet Italian Futurists! Many of the Futurist artists, writers and theorists above will participate in TransVision 2010. Issue 3 of the AIT’s print magazine Divenire, dedicated to Futurism, is available online.

“[Riccardo] Campa [in his recent book Mutare o Perire (Change or Perish – The Challenge of Transhumanism)] emphasizes also the need for the collaboration of the artists more attuned to the new cyber-cultures (for example the writers- in Italy, the young connectivists like Verso, Battisti and others- science-fiction film makers, even the still leading futurist aesthetics) to facilitate overcoming a certain future shock, whose neo-obscurantist symptoms are often clearly evident in old media (like the printed press), in Italy, in certain cultural circles historically entrenched in obsolete epistemologies, para-religious or para-secular and ideological (right/left together… not surprisingly!), the well known gap between the national humanistic tradition and… the Earth rapidly spinning in the universe. The urgency of new paradigms, also social and cultural, and especially institutional and economic, insists Campa, appears even more urgent in view of the most advanced frontiers of contemporary science, which is now close, beginning in the second half of this century, to make reality of apparently science fictional ideas like human hibernation, cloning, Artificial Intelligence, Mind-Up Loading (that is, the transfer of human consciousness in cloned, robotic or even virtual bodies, practically a form of semi-immortality), the so-called technological Singularity, not to speak of very current and “vulgar” developments like cognitive science, education after Internet, online information, eBooks, domotics, cybersex, almost total autimation, space travel, GMO and nanotechnology for medical and other applications (and similar things behind the corner…).”

Mind-Up Loading is Roberto’s Futurist version of the more frequent Mind Uploading, which will be extensively discussed at the conference in all its scientific, technical and philosophical aspects.

“Another plane of the human condition is already surfacing with the post- and trans- human, perhaps a new phase of evolution, which requires entirely new mental paradigms, even more complex and revolutionary, almost multitasking brains to answer with speed… beauty and truth (and well-being) to such new challenges of modernity…”

Speed is a quintessential Futurist meme. From the current version of the Wikipedia article on Futurism: “the ideals of futurism remain as significant components of modern Western culture; the emphasis on youth, speed, power and technology finding expression in much of modern commercial cinema and culture.” The article defines and characterizes Futurism as “Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century… The founder of Futurism and its most influential personality was the Italian writer Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti launched the movement in his Futurist Manifesto, which he published for the first time on 5 February 1909 in La gazzetta dell’Emilia, an article then reproduced in the French daily newspaper Le Figaro on 20 February 1909. He was soon joined by the painters Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrà, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini and the composer Luigi Russolo. Marinetti expressed a passionate loathing of everything old, especially political and artistic tradition. “We want no part of it, the past”, he wrote, “we the young and strong Futurists!” The Futurists admired speed, technology, youth and violence, the car, the airplane and the industrial city, all that represented the technological triumph of humanity over nature, and they were passionate nationalists. They repudiated the cult of the past and all imitation, praised originality, “however daring, however violent”, bore proudly “the smear of madness”, dismissed art critics as useless, rebelled against harmony and good taste, swept away all the themes and subjects of all previous art, and gloried in science… Marinetti’s legacy is also obvious in philosophical ingredients of transhumanism, especially in Europe.” Modern transhumanists who may find something objectionable in this description should bear in mind that the strongly unPC language of Marinetti was typical of the artistic circles of his times, and that some historically inaccurate allegations written by the winners (like most of history) are not correct. Come to Milan to learn about Futurism – at TransVision 2010 many different interpretations of Transhumanism will be represented, including its most radical and hardcore interpretations.

“In the healthy crisis of ideologies, beyond future shock in Italy, evident in the historic and cultural stagnation (even political…) facing the evolution of contemporary science, Transvision 2010, in summary, announces the arrival in the field of the new italian futuribiles- marching with the global movement- hoping in new synergies with possible scientific and cultural movements as a fundamental means to re-futurize XXI century’s Italy and cast it into new, strong, humanist and post-humanist, net-modern scenarios.”

Eppur si vola

Roberto Guerra: writer and video poet. His published works include, among other writings, “Marinetti e il Duemila” (in AA.VV. “Divenire 3 Futurismo” edited by AIT, 2009, Sestante Edizioni) and  “Moana Lisa Cyberpunk” (Edizioni Diversa Sintonia, 2010). He participated in “The Scientist International Videoart Festival” organized by Ferrara Video&Arte. In 2009 he organized, with Graziano Cecchini “Futurismo 100 live”, dedicated to 100 years of Futurism. Since 2010 he is the coordinator of the Laboratory of Futurist Literature of AIT (Italian Transhumanist Association).

1.Bunker (2000) 12′ di Andrea Forlani, Filippo Landini, con Roberto Guerra * da The Scientist 2007 Video Festival Internazionale (Ferrara)
2.Moana Lisa Cyberpunk (2010) 2′ di Maurizio Ganzaroli. Promo Ufficiale dell’omonimo volume  di Roberto Guerra (Edizioni Diversa Sintonia)
3.Graziano Cecchini 1 Maggio Futurista (2010) 1′ di Roberto Guerra- tributo a Rossotrevi

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