Boomkat Product Review:
Von Archives present Thomas Köner's slowly breathtaking commemoration for the 100 year anniversary of Filippo Tommaso Marinetti's 'Futurist Manifesto', published in Le Figaro newspaper, Feb 20th, 1909.
In Köner's first work for sound and moving image since 2005's definitive 'Nuuk', the ambient pioneer examines how the controversial manifesto's polysemous meanings and ambiguous predictions have come to play out upon our constantly accelerating and expanding world - as he says in the liner notes, "Looking back one realizes that the past hundred years have fulfilled all futurist's desires."
He does so by decelerating the present to a barely conscious 4 beats per minute, both in the the music and sampled video footage from 1909, using the sort of mechanical strategy that the original Italian futurists might have praised, in order to isolate and home in on a shifting new perspective of "the beauty of speed" or the idea that "time and space died yesterday" which are both posited in the piece's original libretto.
A nearly 40 minute shadow-play of backlit projections and gloaming sonics unfolds, making rare use of vocals - the voice of Marinetti re-imagined as a ghostly female siren whispering from beyond - whilst the music emulates a nullified, post-industrial and almost-static state of delirium which perhaps reflects the manifesto's insistence; each successive generation of futurists are bound to be destroyed by their successors - the next and even crueller generation.
Köner's art may not be cruel, but this piece is exceptionally dark. Maybe the definition between darkness and cruelty is blurred? maybe we're desensitised to it? Is this normal now? Either way, a highly recommended purchase.