Jim Daems and Carl Peters


"Dada End the And of Thought: From Rite to Representation and the Anatomy of Self-Reference"


"Becoming a human being is an art." (Novalis)
Dada, 1916. Hugo Ball drops language from poetry; Marcel Duchamp distinguishes between classical and modern art, and shows us how to make art and non-art. As Tristan Tzara put it, "Dada is a great negative work of destruction" - it does not attempt to fix what is broken, but to break what is fixed. Dada, circa 1916, set out to free language; it set out to free the word, and to free art from the institution of art. Is this still "aesthetics"? Is it possible to read a ready-made today, or have they become "classic"? Is there an aesthetics of anarchy? What is, exactly, "a _great_negative_ work_ of _destruction_"? Is there a difference between contemporary art and pop culture? What is the relationship between the "avant-garde" and _history_? These are questions we will address.Surrealism, Dada's kin, seeks to impose latent content over the manifestation of form (or "manifest content" in Freud); it sets out to read form by implying there is content. But content is what you put into a cup; too much content makes cult; the more inclusive (radically democratic) a community, the more connected it is to rite; that is, to "form." We are not concerned with content here; this paper will refashion concepts of Dada and Anarchy within the very space of this call for papers and its rhetoric. The questions posed seem virtual to us. Does art create identity? No. Does art dehumanize? No, but identity does. Marcel Duchamp: "I want to put art back into the service of the mind." The great Dadaists and anarchists of our time demonstrate that "play" is a cognitive act; Mind is self-referentially infinite.


Brion Gysin & William Burroughs beleeved that good collaboration created th third mind. Third mind means other mind, new art, something that hasnt existed before. I think we both hold 2 that theory very dearly. We have written a lot uv papers 2gether. It's great each time. Because each time we feel there's something new bin got, something that didnt exist before. I guess thats called insight, and we know yu cin get that many ways. (We know: th old is old and th new is old); it will have a life uv its own. Like this bio/graph. It could tell yu that we got our MAs, and then PhDs; that we both publish and perish everyday. That was yesterday. 2day is only now, once removed. Well, we're hesitant 2 say so so directly. We know that universities do not respect th third mind. Well, thats bin our experience. And we (they) would like to say so now -- in th third person; if thats possible.