The art of speed


Huppatz, D. J.

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The earliest European avant-garde groups of this century had faith in a particular future that would fuse art, technology and politics. Their Europe was a world that had harnessed the power of steam, fossil fuels and electricity, and these energy sources were bearing fruit in the form of transportation, telecommunications and industrialisation on a massive scale. Their Europe was a world that boasted of the conquest of physical space one---could now cross from West to East (on the Trans-Siberian Railway) or around the globe in only weeks. The Italian Futurists and their comrades in Russia, England. Germany and France were embracing the newly mechanised world with a passion. The Futurists worshiped innovation, disruption and the heroic nature of a forward advance (hence the military term 'avant-garde') towards a utopian mechanised future. For them, the new communication and transportation technologies were a means to pursue speed.

Publication year


Publication type

Journal article


Mesh, no. 11 (Spring 1997), pp. 97-100




Experimenta Media Arts


Copyright © D. J. Huppatz 1997. This article appeared first as: Huppatz, D. J. (1997). The art of speed. Mesh (11), available from: The published version is reproduced with the permission of the publisher.