Beyond Futurism: Bruno Munari's Useless Machines

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This essay discusses Bruno Munari's understanding of the relationship between art and technology in the light of his early collaboration with the Futurist movement. It explores the legacy and influence of Futurist experimentation in Munari's opus, starting from his early works in the late 20s, up to mid-century. It also discusses Munari's progressive distancing from the Futurist aesthetics and the more encompassing integration of his art with other aesthetic trends in Europe at the time. In particular, the essay focuses on the epistemological implications at the base of his famous 'useless machines', which Munari developed from the early 30s, and which marked a departure from the main thrust of Futurist 'technolatry', towards a broader understanding of technology, which is more pragmatic and structuralist in nature, and which seems to question any dualistic separation between nature and technology, between the artificial and the natural.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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