Who’s Your Dada?

By February 20, 2006General

Yesterday the first bloglady and the first blogteen dragged the blogger-in-chief to the National Gallery of Art in Washington for the opening of the exhibit on Dadaism, and interesting art and cultural movement that gripped Germany, France and even New York in the post-World War I era. Like the first rule of Fight Club, the first principle of Dada was there were no principles. Easy enough, reminded us in fact of some politicians in Washington these days. It was a genre steeped in cynicism, alienation and disaffection. (No wonder they found New York….). Said early dadaist Tristan Tzara, “The beginnings of Dada were not the beginnings of an art, but of a disgust.”

But we were most impressed to see how all roads lead to manufacturing. As the Dada movement spread, French artist Marcel Duchamp made his way to New York City where he was like a missionary, spreading the word of Dada to new adherents and bohemians. As it turns out, he pioneered a type of Dada art known as “readymade” where he took manufactured items and made them into pieces of art. As every manufacturer knows, all manufactured items are pieces of art, so this was no big deal. We probably could’ve taught Duchamp a thing or two back in the day. Here’s link to one of his “readymade” works, and another.

Just a reminder that manufacturing is everywhere, even in the art world, even in the sometimes bizarre world of Dada.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Dada was started by Hugo Ball, and his diaries are like well written blog posts.

    I think we sober business professionals, I am in web usability and blog marketing/media, we could learn a lot from our wilder brothers and sisters in the arts and literature.

    For example, the Dada use of typographical indiscretions, experimental noise in concerts, and strange metal costumes.

    The shock of the new and strange can get our creative juices flowing with innovation and competitive advantage to sweeten the pie.

    Seth Godin, Tom Peters, Drucker, Demming: they keep ringing in our ears, but do we break through and try new things, like blogs, to move into the New Media and New Share Economy?

    You ought to have a sidebar list of good manufacturing blogs, like Tinbasher, the UK sheet metal blog.

  • Pat Cleary says:

    Ah, grasshopper, you think too narrowly. Mr. Webster says art is “Creative work generally….; making or doing of things that have form and beaiuty….” Look at the perfect wooden shaft, the beautiful, shiny angular aluminum rectangle that is the working surface, the all purpose handle. It’s all just so, well, perfect. You must think more broadly about art, in Mr. Webster’s terms. The things our members make, the abject beauty of a zero-defect metal part that makes something else work, or makes something else go. The intensity, the innovation, the work, the toil, the sweat that goes into it all. The perfect item that comes at the end of the process — the part, the the car, the airplane, the microchip. Yes, even the shovel. It is perfect, it is art, it all such. beautful.art.

  • blogger's apprentice says:

    its a shovel…that ain’t art!