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.
Curator: Jeffrey Schnapp, Stanford Humanities Lab
Co-organizer: the Wolfsonian-Florida International University, Miami Beach
Exhibition design: Michael Maltzan Architecture, Los Angeles
Graphic design: Project Projects, New York