‘Futurist Radio Manifesto’ in context

radiaRADIA: A Gloss of the 1933 Futurist Radio Manifesto
by Pino Masnata
Translations, Introduction, Tables by Margaret Fisher
Second Evening Art Publishing (2012), 208 pp., paperback
ISBN 9781613646373

In 1933 F. T. Marinetti and Pino Masnata described a new radio art in Manifesto futurista della radio, published in the Gazzetta del Popolo of Torino. In 1935 Masnata, worried that the manifesto’s abstruse references to wave motion and the behavior of sub-atomic particles might be overlooked, wrote a 51-page gloss that begins, “The Futurist Radio Manifesto needs some explanation because it contains a synthesis of numerous modern scientific and artistic tenets. Only someone who stays informed of the current trends in human ideas can understand the full significance of our Manifesto and dispense with the explanation.”

This previously unpublished manuscript is a valuable reference and source book for media studies, art and literature. Annotated by the translator, Masnata’s gloss is placed within the context of politics and science in Italy in the 1920s and 30s. The volume includes translations of Masnata’s radio sintesi, Radio Corriere’s transcription of Marinetti’s eyewitness radio report of Italo Balbo’s homecoming with the Atlantici in 1933, as well as brief history of early Italian radio, and tables listing hundreds of Futurist radio programs and broadcast-related documents by and about the Futurists—photographs, reviews, articles, photographs, cartoons, and advertisements.

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