ZURICH DADADOM The Liberation of Language
Dada Static Poem • Consisted of a word written in huge individual letters on several large pieces of cardboard • Performers held them up & moved around on stage • Tried to generate estrangement & vertigo in the viewer • Hoped to make viewers aware of the arbitrary & mutable nature of of the linguistic sign • Hoped to loosen the hold conventional language exercised over one’s consciousness
Dada Simultaneous Poem • Involved several performers reciting totally unrelated texts cacophonously • Dadaists thought this showed the conflict between the human voice with a world that threatens, ensnares, & destroys
DADA Language Experimentation • Assumes & accepts the arbitrary nature of language • Accepts the gap between language & reality
Is there a connection between words & things ?OR????Is “Langue”simply a conventional system of arbitrary signifiers with which one can do what they like?
Hugo Ball asked? • Each thing has its word, but the word has become a thing by itself. Why shouldn’t I find it? Why can’t a tree be called a Pluplusch & Pluplubasch when it has been raining?
Experimentation because: • Freed from the usual associations [individual words] can be swapped around at will & so you are in a position to understand what you could do with language if you hadn’t had it drummed into you from the earliest years that the word “love” or the word “hope” involved a totally specific group of sensations.