"Speed renders agile; it accelerates the blood circulation of trains, automobiles, airplanes worldwide." – Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, The New Religion Morality of Speed, 1916
Speed Limits addresses the pivotal role played by speed in modern life: from art to architecture and urbanism to graphics and design to economics to the material culture of the eras of industry and information. It marks the centenary of the foundation of the Italian Futurist movement, whose inaugural manifesto famously proclaimed “that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed.”
The exhibition explores five key domains of the powers and limits of the modern era’s cult of speed, beginning in 1900: circulation and transit, construction and the built environment, efficiency, the measurement and representation of rapid motion, and the mind/body relationship. Critical rather than commemorative in spirit, it explores a single Futurist theme from the standpoint of its contemporary legacies. Speed Limits is an exhibition about complex choices and complex consequences, about polarities but also about intertwinings between the fast and the slow.
Over 240 objects, books, photographs, posters, architectural drawings, publications, and videos illustrate the debate about speed and present a multifaceted view that is both a defence of speed and an implicit denunciation of its detrimental effect on contemporary life.
The exhibition is curated by Jeffrey Schnapp, Stanford Humanities Lab, and presented in collaboration with the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Miami Beach. Michael Maltzan Architecture of Los Angeles is the exhibition designer and Project Projects, New York, provides the graphic design.
Published by Skira Editore (Milan), the accompanying catalogue is edited by Jeffrey T. Schnapp. Mirko Zardini, Director and Chief Curator of the CCA, and Cathy Leff, Director of Wolfsonian-Florida International University, contribute the preface. The 320-page publication features essays by Timothy Alborn, Yve-Alain Bois, Edward Dimendberg, Maria Gough, Antonino Mastruzzo, Jeffrey L. Meikle, Pierre Niox, Marjorie Perloff, Mark Seltzer, and Anthony Vidler. Speed Limits is available in English through the CCA Bookstore beginning in May 2009.
Speed Limits is presented at Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Miami Beach, from 17 September 2010 to 20 February 2011.