manifestoThis document, partly a dialogue with the Futurist Manifesto of 1909, offers some insight into B-Ville 2049, even if it has been, and will be, challenged as an authentic representation of the goals and aesthetics of a movement whose members repeatedly resisted being described as a group at all.

Actor Pierre Baronsky Huang, in particular, issued a rare statement to denounce it as utter nonsense conceived by a foreigner, an American, “whose style of work had nothing in common with our own, which was only loosely related, and would have been totally peripheral to the group if she hadn’t been sleeping with Geneviève at the time.”

Geneviève De Parnier was less harsh, characterizing the Manifesto as a kind of joke, conceived in a bar over a bottle of vodka. “Q had no business taking notes, though granted, we were all happy enough to sign it. It was only on a napkin for heaven’s sake. No one would have taken it seriously if she hadn’t typed it up, and added a few flourishes.”

Writer Q. Sutherland actually made few claims about the relevance of the Manifesto, aside from its accuracy. Originally scribbled in her shorthand of English and French, she said at most it should be considered as a valuable reflection of the group in an unguarded moment, one of the few in which they actually appeared in public together.

Grégoire Poilroux

Manifesto Against the Present from A Probably Future Day

We, who are not yet born, salute you.

Tyrants, with each maladroit choice you contract our lives to the sixty nine circles of purgatory, and a mere three of hell which you expect to reflect your preoccupations, but instead exhibit the far more repulsive face of mere bad taste.

Still, our fate is better than yours, you who are trapped in your skin, dissolving like bone into so much dust while your mouths still gape and close.

We can feel that grimy air brush over us and into the so-called sky where like you the dead stars have ruled for endless centuries.

After considerable thought and much grain alcohol we conclude therefore:

1. Cowardice is truth. And harder by far to bear than courage.

2. We must refuse our last few choices, including revolt.

3. If perpetual motion and stasis have the same essential effect, let us resist even the impulse to flee.

4. Henceforth, we will pursue nothing, exalt nothing except dreamless sleep.

5. We will sit in our rocking chairs and stare.

6. We will conserve ourselves.

7. When Beauty unbuttons her shirt, it is not for us.

8. Enter the world stage left. The new millennium holds its hiccupping breath then pukes on our shoes, where it solidifies, and remains.

9. In a landscape of gestures, we keep our hands in our pockets, behind our backs. Appendages should be as discrete as meaning.

10. Museums and libraries we embrace for their warmth, and allow the homeless to take the best seats.

11. Cities grind and like enormous sausage makers produce their wares. Soon it will be our turns. Cruelty is not worth the effort. Stars are lost on the beach.

There are 9 billion three hundred twenty seven thousand, fifty-two knives out there. Enough for each of you. A good jailer knows what to do.

B-Ville 2049