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Italian Futurism and the Machine$
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Katia Pizzi

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780719097096

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.7765/9781526121219

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Conclusion: Ex machina

Conclusion: Ex machina

(p.258) Conclusion: Ex machina
Italian Futurism and the Machine

Katia Pizzi

Manchester University Press

The concluding section Ex machina outlines the tensions and trajectories that mark the transition of the futurist machine from the machine age to the current virtual reality and digital age. Borrowing from Munari’s ‘useless’ machine, the contemporary machine is dematerialised and abstracted. As such it both stems from and mirrors a radically altered technological paradigm: post-mechanical, post-industrial and digital. In a final twist, the machine of our own age is no longer the object of aesthetic or ideological worship or the demon of Taylorist dystopias. Rather, AIs and robots act with their own agency, supplying the subjectivity to compose and visualise art in sophisticated, if increasingly worrisome, entanglements with us humans. Taking over from Chapter 1, this section outlines the contemporary debate over machine technology and explores some of its most creative manifestations (e.g. afrofuturism).

Keywords:   Contemporary machine, Digital age, Virtual reality, Post-mechanical machine, Post-industrial machine, AIs, Robots, Afrofuturism

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