Joseph Young of the Neo-Futurist Collective: The End of Listening (ReAwakening of a City #5), 2011

Here is an urgent response to so-called Neo-Futurism: criticismism feels obliged to vehemently oppose it, although I realise this blog is probably doing a minor service to Joseph Young and his colleagues by doing so.

Nevertheless, it is to be condemned. The original futurists were seductive right wing agitators who celebrated the advent of World War One and ushered in an era of fascism in Italian politics. Why would anyone want to offer an updated version of that?

Like their forebears, the Neo-Futurists are keen on avant garde music and manifestos. Their core activities are sound art and knowing displays of self promotion, via both the web and dangerous looking rallies in the streets of Brighton.

The movement’s avowed aims are to overcome pessimism and futile utopianism. But must it not be said that pessimism has real utility in these late capitalist times and that utopian thinking is never futile. Indeed it is a worse form of pessimism to claim as much.

The best thing that can be said about Neo-Futurists is that their sound installation at A&E Gallery is by turns amusing and alarming, between 10 minutes and half an hour well spent. I’d recommend you visit or listen in online, only so you know what we’re up against.

Joseph Young’s show is at A&E Gallery, Brighton, until January 23. See gallery website for more details. Or visit and/or

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