Neumerz Manifesto (2001)

by Victor Zygonov
25th April 2001

As society continues the course followed by all civilizations, a total and complete revival of Dadaism becomes both necessary and inevitable. This becomes the mind-set of NEUMERZ. Despite this, complete revival is not enough. It is not even close! It is crucial that Dada as Dada be taken to the conclusion of Dada. This is NEUMERZ. The new mind-set is not the word fragment “merz” torn from printed material. It is much more than “merz”. It is NEUMERZ! It is the unrestricted use of Dadaism at all levels in all forms.

The operation at levels in isolation is a concept which must be erased from Dadaist thought altogether. A major mistake of early Dadaist thinkers was the belief that Dadaism was in some way an art movement alone. This notion was, of course, one cause of the formation of rival factions within Dadaism. Society as a whole does not operate on levels. True, within society one may identify, or attempt to identify, social classes, institutions, leaders, etc.. But they are all society. Take away society, and these are gone as well. To waste time looking at each individual publication, work of art and movement is absurd.

It is no secret that the languages of the industrialized world such as the languages of western Europe, North and South America, Japan, etc.. are languages that arose during ancient or medieval circumstances. It is for this reason that these languages are obsolete and inadequate for use by modern man. The industrialized world has tried to side-step this problem in many ways. The most popular method has been adaptation. In this method society tries to stick together pre-existing words or word parts in order to describe new technology. For example auto + mobile = automobile. Eventually the word becomes cut down to just “auto”. Thus, a word meant to describe motion now becomes just the name of another machine. Thousands of examples of adaptation may be found in any language that is used in any industrialized nation.

The method used by science has been different. The modern scientist has attempted a grasp at a “universal” language. In this method everything is given a “scientific” classification name that any scientist in any part of the world may use as identification. Sadly, this language is Latin, a language that is even older than the other languages and therefore even more inadequate and out of date.

But why should Dadaists examine language when all language is just an element of civilization? The answer is clear. Dadaists must rely on language to communicate. This is not a choice, but a fact of life. This does obviously not indicate that Dadaists should, in any way, go along with the established rules of “proper” language set up by the morons of the educational systems of modern nations! Language demonstrates tremendous variation from country to country and region to region. A dictionary in the United States is not the same as a dictionary in England. A dictionary in France is not the same as a dictionary in Belgium. Any idea of correct or proper language or spelling is nonsense. The Dadaist must instead look for any way to write in a way that is quick and easy. The Dadaist should feel free to invent new words, use unconventional syntax and form, and ignore the useless restrictions of the past. If, for example, you are writing to someone named Ellen, just spell the name L.N. Abandon any titles that people may add to themselves. Call authority figures by their first names! As long as the person to which you are speaking is able to understand you communication is successful.

But what exactly is Dada? A clear definition of Dada is needed mainly to destroy the false image of Dada created by the so-called art world, Dadaism, in simple terms, has very little to do with art. Dada and Dadaism is a mind-set, a way of life which is in open opposition to everything. All of the values, morals, violence, inventions, and elements of society are against Dada. For the Dadaist, there is no scale upon which to judge society in terms of good and bad. If any bad elements exist, then the entire society becomes a farce. Bad is defines as anything anti-human. The word anti-human should not be confused with inhumane. Anti-human is a policy that is developed by society. In every society that has ever existed on Earth, there have been elements that are anti-human. Every society has had an army. Every society has participated in war. In every society someone has died. These facts make all of society’s inventions and “improvements” irrelevant. DEAD MEN DON’T DRIVE CARS! The modernization that society brings is not worth the deliberate loss of human life!

In art, Dadaism is the concept of anti-art. All art that one sees is just a product of the society that created it. Because Dadaism is in opposition to all society, it is in opposition to the art which society produced as well.

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