MetaDada Broadside No. 7: Dada Culture

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“People who joins us keep their freedom. We don’t accept any theories.”- Tristan Tzara, “The Second Dada Manifesto” (1918)

The modern use of the word “culture” is purportedly derived from the writings of the famous Roman orator, Cicero, who in about 45 BC wrote Tusculanae Disputationes [Tusculan Disputations]. In this dimly illuminating manuscript [see illustration] he uses an agricultural metaphor, cultura animi, to refer to the cultivation of a “soul” or what we might term a philosophical outlook. That’s what MetaDada is all about, a world-view that places all things into soulful perspective under the throbbing, sore thumb of Dada. Dada Culture is ready to flex its smooth, bulging muscles to root out idiocy and lay it lovingly in the sun to dry, right after it gets all hot and sweaty at the gym.


“We are looking for a straightforward pure sober unique force we are looking for NOTHING we affirm the VITALITY of every instant the the anti-philosophy of spontaneous acrobatics…”  – Tristan Tzara, “Unpretentious Proclamation” (1919)


MetaDada Broadsides by David Hartz

Hand-Engraved-RWe are pleased to present two new MetaDada broadsides by contributor David Hartz: “Dada-Pain” and “Dada For Money.” Our thanks to David for these tickets to Dada-dom. We will take this opportunity to invite other friends of the journal and readers of the MetaDada blog to contribute material for possible inclusion in future weekly updates.Hand-Engraved-L

David Hartz, “Dada-Pain,” digitally-manipulated found advertisement (2016)

Click to download a PDF of David Hartz’ broadside, “Dada For Money.”


MetaDada Broadside No. 6: Why Are We Dada?

How can one expect to put order into the chaos that constitutes that infinite and shapeless variation: man?
– Tristan Tzara, “Dada Manifesto 1918” (1918)

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Hand-Engraved-RWhy are we Dada? The very question itself is an oxymoron. Hence we are compelled to ask. The answer to this tenuous question is physically embedded in the web of neurons firing perceptions and impressions at the active screen of our mind; a screen that can’t help but intertwine sensory input with memory and fantasy and dream. We force these wiggling shapes into a flexible mold of reason; a matrix of liquid intent. Imposing our rational mental structures on the world is our illness with some undiscovered bacterial origin or viral mutation. We randomly swivel our heads and ask, “Why?” Rarely, if ever, do we fully recognize what we are doing. We dance the dance of reason, we shovel the muck of progress, we roll rocks endlessly up steep hills of rhetoric. We ask, “why?”Hand-Engraved-L

Thought is made in the mouth.
– Tristan Tzara, “Dada Manifesto on Feeble and Bitter Love” (1920)

H. Michael Sanders and William Boyle. Why?, single-channel video, 4:30 (2009)

I know you’re expecting some explanations about Dada. I’m not going to give you any. Explain to me why you exist. You’ve no idea… You’ll never know why you exist, but you’ll always allow yourselves to be easily persuaded to take life seriously.
– Tristan Tzara, “Lecture on Dada” (1922)

MetaDada Broadside No. 5: Dada Menace

As the weather begins to fluctuate from blustery winter to uncertain spring, the Dada virus can erupt unexpectedly. Beware and be cautious. Report all suspected Dada activity to protect yourself and your loved ones from certain infection.


Next Time, You’ll Know Better


MetaDada Broadside No. 4

I know that you have come here today to hear explanations. Well, don’t expect to hear any explanations about Dada. You explain to me why you exist. You haven’t the faintest idea… You will never be able to tell me why you exist but you will always be ready to maintain a serious attitude about life. – Tristan Tzara, “Lecture on Dada” (1922)

A Rrose


A Rrose
By H. Michael Sanders
with a tip ‘o the hat to Gertrude Stein

A rose is arose is a eros is a Rrose
or it is what it is, or it isn’t…

February 19, 2016

Hand-Engraved-RGertrude Stein’s original line, “A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose” comes from her poem, Sacred Emily (1913), which was published in her book, Geography and Plays (1922). This volume is available as a free eBook online from Project Gutenberg at

For a wild and wooly Dadaesque poetry experience check out Getrude Stein’s experimental volume of beautiful gibberish from 1914, Tender Buttons. Stein’s writing in this short, controversial book focuses intensely on the sounds and rhythms of words, rather than any concern about even tenuous connections to their possible referents in the world. This volume is also available as a free eBook from Project Gutenberg at


Dada Poems Wanted

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MetaDada Presents Recent Translations of Five Poems by Emmy Hennings

Poems translated from the German by William Seaton


Hand-Engraved-RMetaDada No. 1 will include publication of five poems by Emmy Hennings, one of the original Zurich dadas, recently translated from the German by William Seaton. Seaton, author of Dada Poetry: An Introduction (Nirala Press, 2013), completed these translations subsequent to publication of his book. The volume features numerous other poems by Hennings, along with work by Hans Arp, Hugo Ball, and Richard Huelsenbeck. He notes that, “Hennings represents at once the swan song of an overripe German Romanticism and the furious explosive outburst of modernism.” Hennings’ poetry is an intense reflection of her personal experience, and her work is suffused with “a conviction of some intolerable derangement in things… linked with a nearly desperate eroticism, yet expressed with redemptive poise and precision,” as Seaton relates in his book (p. 47). MetaDada is delighted to be publishing these translations of verse by one of the Dada movement’s founding members. – MEK-HMS. Hand-Engraved-L

William Seaton’s Dada Poetry: An Introduction includes poems by Dada founders Emmy Hennings, Richard Huelsenbeck, Hans Arp and Hugo Ball, along with Seaton’s substantial introductory essay, “An Introduction to Dada.”


01-Dada for Women

no one is safe!

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