The Futurist Cookbook by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti
The Italian Futurist poet, dramatist and publicist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (1876-1944) compiled La Cucina futurista in 1932, some twenty years after he burst on to the European art scene with ‘The Futurist Manifesto’. A man who cultivated a public image as a deliberate troublemaker, Marinetti and his friends espoused speed and transience as the essence of modern art and life.
Their Futurism dynamised and individualised Italian painting, while their cult of ‘the-word-in-liberty’, which pursued free associative expression without syntax, gave the world its first taste in literature of a Dadaism to come. Marinetti was way ahead of his time applying Futurist ideas to food, which meant treating ingredients primarily as a means of artistic expression and only incidentally as a source of nourishment. His revolutionary recipes include suggestions for themed restaurants, food performances and ‘staged’ meals. The twenty-first century is still catching up with his ideas.
“There is a faint twinge of alarm in recalling that Futurism was to become the house style of Italian Fascism. Mussolini never followed Marinetti’s plans to the letter, although one can well imagine him setting up crack squads of ravioli hitmen and a League for the Liquidation of Noodles. Mostly, however, this book gurgles to the innocent sounds of excess pleasure”
Anthony Lane, The Times
The Ambiguity of Play by Brian Sutton – Smith
Every child knows what it means to play, but the rest of us can merely speculate. Is it a kind of adaptation, teaching us skills, inducting us into certain communities? Is it power, pursued in games of prowess? Fate,deployed in games of chance? Daydreaming, enacted in art? Or is it just frivolity?
Brian Sutton-Smith, a proponent of play theory, considers each possibility as it has been proposed, elaborated, and debated in disciplines from biology, psychology, and education to metaphysics, mathematics, and sociology. Sutton-Smith focuses on play theories rooted in seven distinct rhetorics; the ancient discourses of fate, power, communal identity, and frivolity and the modern discourses of progress, the imaginary, and the self. In an analysis that moves from the question of play in child development to the implications of play for the Western work ethic, he explores the values, historical sources, and interests that have dictated the terms and forms of play put forth in each discourse’s objective theory.
This work reveals more distinctions and disjunctions than affinities, with one striking exception: however different their descriptions and interpretations of play, each rhetoric reveals a quirkiness, redundancy, and flexibility. In light of this, Sutton-Smith suggests that play might provide a model of the variability that allows for natural selection. As a form of mental feedback, play might nullify the rigidity that sets in after successful adaption, thus reinforcing animal and human variability. Further, he shows how these discourses, despite their differences, might offer the components for a new social science of play.
“Brian Sutton-Smith presents a lively, contemplative and challenging theoretical discussion of the ‘category of diverse learnings’…that make up play… leaving the reader alive and alert to the possibilities of play that transcend generations and cultures”
Jill Williams, British Journal of Educational Studies”
[According to Sutton-Smith] although we have a sense of what constitutes play, when asked to define it, explain its function, or even identify players, its paradoxical nature becomes apparent – it is and is not what it appears to be. Does and does not have a function, is and is not the purview of children”
Child Development Abstracts & Bibliography
Brian Sutton-Smith is Professor of Education, Emeritus, at the University of Pennsylvania
Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts by Douglas Kahn
This interdisciplinary history of the theory of sound in the arts reads the 20th century by listening to it – to the emphatic and exceptional sounds of modernism and those on the cusp of postmodernism, recorded sound, noise, silence, the fluid sounds of immersion and dripping, and the meat voices of viruses, screams and bestial cries. Focusing on Europe in the first half of the century and the United States in the postwar years, Douglas Kahn explores aural activities in literature, music, visual arts, threatre and film.
Placing aurality at the centre of the history of arts, he revisits key artistic questions, listening to the sounds that drown out the politics and poetics that generated them. Artists discussed include: Atnonin Artaud, George Brecht, William Burroughs, John Cage, Sergei Eistenstein, Fluxus, Allan Kaprow, Michael McClure, Yoko Ono, Jackson Pollock, Luigi Russolo and Dziga Vertov.
“Kahn’s research is impressive, and his presentation is thorough and precise”
Carol J. Binkowski, Library Journal
“…a unique and important contribution to this emerging, exciting field. It is overflowing with ideas, references, and conjecture”
John Levack Drever, The Art Book
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