Futurism Contemplated: Is Futurism Proto-Punk?

by Karen PINKUS

In many ways, Italian Futurism could be considered an unacknowledged precursor to punk.

The Futurists were members of the Italian bourgeoisie. Punks were working class, but both movements shared a disdain for high culture, for detatched bohemian/hippie art, and for lethargy or nostalgia. Marinetti wrote his founding manifesto of the Futurist movement in 1909 and quickly found a following in a group of painters, sculptors, poets, dramatists, architects, and musical innovators– including Carlo Carra, Umberto Boccioni, Luigi Russolo, Giacomo Balla, Antonio Sant’Elia, Fortunato Depero, and many others.