Comparing the projection of the Back to the Future movie of how 2015 should look in terms of the degree technology has entered our lives and the reality, we shall say the reality is in times more futuristic than what we had considered it could had been some decades ago.
Of course, the meaning of futuristic as a term relating to predictions about the future has only been with us since the 1950s, but the word itself celebrates its 100th anniversary this year.
The adjective futuristic appeared first in the English language to describe the avant-garde artistic and social movement which was founded in Milan in 1909 by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and proclaimed in his Futurist Manifesto.
The movement, originating in Italian as Futurismo and known in English as Futurism, was committed to abolish the old and celebrate the beauty of the modern industrial life of advanced technology and urban modernity – the beauty of the machine, speed and power and it spread from architecture to paintings and everyday life products.
In 1915, the American art critic Willard Huntington Wright, better known for his detective novels under his pseudonym S. S. Van Dine, published Modern Painting: Its Tendency and Meaning – a survey of the most important art movements of the last hundred years where the 1912 painting of the Albert Gleizes Man on a Balcony ( ‘L’Homme au balcon) was labeled as “almost Futuristic in conception”. And, indeed, it was as the French artist and philosopher Gleizes was among the founders of Cubism.
Futuristic kept its meaning of ultramodern, avant-garde for the next 5 decades, referring to anything from music (February 1928, the British Melody Maker magazine reviewed a song as a“pretty futuristic harmony”) to fashion (1968, Janey Ironside, A fashion alphabet: “Garments, both futuristic and yet based on armour and chain-mail”).
As a term to relate to predictions about the future, as mentioned above, futuristic appeared first in print in 1958, in the December issue of BBC Television review The Listener where the event of carrying an optical telescope in earth satellites or erecting one on the Moon were called “futuristic enterprises”. And yes, the Hubble was launched 32 years later – so in futuristic times do we live.