new_manifesto_location_bold new_manifesto_location






For 30 hours, starting Friday, March 4, 2016 at 7 p.m. (Central European Time), Coders, Writers, Artists, Publishers, Plumbers, Designers, Students, Bankers, Stateless Souls, Whistleblowers, and other Art Messengers will be meeting at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich.

They’ll be here from Europe and elsewhere. Some are coming by plane from Argentina and New York. Others are taking the train from Bucharest. Their goal: to create the Digital Dada Manifesto. This is our final Hacktion. It all wraps up with a concert by the Dead Brothers.

Come join us for the next 30 hours! DADA-DATA has its own DADA-CNN. For 30 hours, everything will be broadcast live. With a chat to let you comment, contribute, and participate.

Dada loves you! Dada needs madness, and yours is welcome!


Dada and

"I am writing a manfesto and there's nothing I want, and yet I'm saying certain things, and in principle I am against manifestos, as I am against principles."

Tristan Tzara, Dada Manifesto, March 23, 1918



Dada Manifesto

Rudolf Kuenzli
International Dada Archive
University of Iowa

Unlike the manifestos of Futurism, which spell out a definite program, Dada manifestos explode any definition, coherence, and certainty. When the Dadas ask themselves what Dada is, they suggest multiple misleading answers to eager journalists: an art? a philosophy? a politics? a fire insurance? a state religion? energy? or nothing, which means everything? Yet how do you write a manifesto about nothing? That is the central question Tristan Tzara poses in his “Dada Manifesto 1918,” when he states that he writes a manifesto, but that he wants nothing, and yet he says certain things, but that in principle he is against manifestos and against principles. Tzara’s strategy is the constant use of contradiction in order not to produce anything definite. Related to this strategy is the breaking down of identity by equating everything with everything: two equals five, pants equals water. Many of the Dada manifestos produce this dissolution of logic and identity. Walter Serner’s manifesto with the great title “Last Loosening” ends with a completely nonsensical paragraph, and equally irrational is Hans Arp’s “Manifesto of the Dada Crocodarium.”

In one of his manifestos, Tzara even suggests producing Dada nonsensical texts by literally cutting up conventional language: cutting out words from a newspaper article and, after carefully shaking them in a paper bag, arranging the words in the order in which they are taken out of the bag. And he even includes a text made in this “new” language in his manifesto.

The Dada manifestos’ productions of anarchic nonsense at least put into question the adequacy of the conventional meanings and values of their culture.



RetroDada Manifesto

McKenzie Wark
Author of

RetroDada begins with disgust. Once again the world gets its war on. While some cities are attacked by bombers, others are strafed by art fairs. This time there’s no Switzerland of neutrality where refugees might cool their heels, as now the whole globe itself overheats. The insomnia of reason breeds monsters.

But before we can take two steps forward, let’s take one leap back. Back a whole century. Back to the first of the world wars to be numbered; back to the birth of Dada disgust. Back to that great refusal of what the century was to become. Why shouldn’t a .gif run backwards as well as forwards? Its RetroDada time! In principle RetroDada is against manifestoes, but it is also also against principles. So here goes nothing.

The world is full of mistakes, but the worst is the art that got made. Art gives us Dante’s Inferno as styled by interior decorators. RetroDada aims to please neither at art nor anti-art, as nobody should serve masters. We will put an end to spectacle and replace it with convulsive laughter from continent to continent. It’s shit after all, but from now on we mean to shit in different colors.

Psychoanalysis is itself the disease. It makes the bourgeois self seem interesting. Ethics produces atrophy like every plague produced by intelligence. Theory merely guides us in a round-about way to the prejudice we had in the first place. What we need are works that are tender and precise and forever beyond understanding. There is a lot of negative work to be done.

RetroDada is our intensity. RetroDada is for and against unity. RetroDada is the abolition of their reasons. RetroDada is the refusal of an inheritance. RetroDada is a convulsive effusion, like a cellphone cooked in a microwave. RetroDada is a divinity of the lowest order. RetroDada has no theory. There is enough of that in art school. We love the old things for their freshness.

How to make a RetroDada manifesto: Take a Dada manifesto or two. Copy the good bits. Toss them in a file. Move the bits around. Improve on them. The manifesto will be like you. As for intelligence, it will be found in the streets.

RetroDada is working with all its might to introduce the idiot everywhere. RetroDada is a venture capital form for the exploitation of other people’s ideas. God can afford to be unsuccessful. So can RetroDada. It is luxury without value or price. RetroDada gives itself to nothing, neither to work nor play. RetroDada seduces you with your own idea.

RetroDada is at once stand-up comedy and a requiem mass. RetroDada trusts only in the sincerity of situations. RetroDada fights against the thanaticism of the times. RetroDada develops the plasticity of the digital. We should make all art and literature and cinema free. The medium is as unimportant as we are. Essential only is the forming. Take any material at all.

RetroDada is a theoretical virus. RetroDada means letting oneself be thrown by events. Say yes to a life that strives downward toward negation. RetroDada refuses to be contemporary to any of this shit. RetroDada reintroduces art and everyday life so they can have queer sex in back alleys. RetroDada is the statelessness of the mind. RetroDada rejects both the stylish order and the stylized disorder of contemporary aesthetics. We are convinced of the arbitrariness and falsity of our poor creation, the world. We look unencumbered into the heights and depths.

Let’s only steal from the best, and from their actions, not their styles. The resonant Sophie Taeuber, the drum-banger Richard Hulsenbeck, the tubular Hugo Ball, the mystic Emmy Hennings, the hypeman Tristan Tzara, the ironic Jean Arp, the dadasoph Raoul Hausmann, the runfast Hannah Höch, the aviarist Baroness Elsa. Let’s take their leavings not their droppings. Music, dances, theories, manifestos, poems, paintings, costumes, masks. To be begun again, from the beginning.

So many fates of the west befell Dada. It tried everything already, so we don’t have to. Arthur Cravan became a legend. Mina Loy became a poet. Marcel Duchamp became the enabler of contemporary art. Hugo Ball became a devout Catholic. Emmy Hennings became a Protestant mystic. Hannah Höch wrote a trans-species children’s book. Richard Hulsenbeck became a therapist. Tristan Tzara became a communist. Marcel Janco returned to the Orient. Baroness Elsa died in poverty and obscurity. Jacques Vaché killed himself before it even all began.

To be for this manifesto is to be RetroDada! To be against this manifesto is to be RetroDada! To be for and against this manifesto is to be RetroDada! To be neither for nor against this manifesto is to be RetroDada! There is no escape from the history yet to be unmade!