Yet Another Dada Manifesto (1996)

by Robert Whyte

“Like everything in life, Dada is useless” – Tristan Tzara

To launch a manifesto you have to want rapid eye movement, brotherhood of mozzarella and ten tons of jelly doughnuts — and fulminate against nasturtiums, the constitution of an ox and Greenwich Village mean time.

…and furthermore, you must maintain that mineral turpentine resembles life in the same way as the latest apparition of a sequential tidbits proves the essence of the next millennium. This existence had already been proved by the accordion, the landscape and soft spoons.

Everyone imposes one’s blinking, cheesy profiterols in the form of a crystalbluff-marzipan, or a rampant economy, or artistic lung-ravagers, a naked idea being the repulsion of an ardent and platonic masonry.

…the love of dada is a pleasant sort of mania… impulsive and vibrant to crucify boredom.

I’m writing this manifesto to show that you can plagiarise Tzara with his blessing and at the same time, in one single, corrupt death; let the forces of nature take their amanuensis from the outpourings of legend.


…on the other hand, there are shared paranoias, new fears, rank, hardly heard cortex jolting frappologists, memories and visions banqueting on anticlimactic impetus.

Money is an old fashioned Dead Sea Scroll Weevil, it deadens our anti-real inclinations and systematizes the desire to die little deaths.

I pick from the granite hillside fractured gooseberries, the fruit that considers that every other fruit is the honk of martyrdom. Religion says, “Make me mad.” Science says: “Make me glad.” Society says, “You’ve been had.” Dada says, “Verify your molecules. En garde!”

We are against sobriquets; the most acceptable linguistic device is that of having lunched on the heart of an ant lion.

Art is the last ditch in which one makes an effort to survive against the encroachment of acceptability.

What we need are bright, shining, heroic works which will be forever misunderstood and cherished with liquefied logic. Dada is now more outdated than ever. It is the articulation of skeletal undoing. Unfortunately, however, there are no footnotes. Dada, like irony, wears giant boots.

Robert Whyte