Good Mourning, Dada: Nurturing The Contrived Nature Of Concrete Art

'Dada Saves' by Jay SchwartzEat your chocolate
wash your brain
dada
dada
gulp some rain.
– Tristan Tzara
 
 
I’m constantly amazed at the capacity some people have to fail as human beings, or more specifically as products of nature. We have such great inherent artistic talent, and yet we are so often contrived in our behavior. Nurturing, for some, is done selectively and with ulterior motives. Efforts to save the planet come only after we’ve all but destroyed it. The art of being fully human remains lost to many who are kept afloat by a flotilla of prefabricated and standardized ‘paint by the numbers’ ideologies and conventions.
 
I write this on the heels of my mother’s recent passing, so as I let the tides of emotion wash over my head, I’m a bit vulnerable to the often groaned about process of grieving. Whatever comes comes; whatever goes goes – the good, the bad and the inane. Good mourning to all, I say, especially to me.
 
Therefore, I have resolved to refuse any attempt to self-repress my emotions or self-censor my thoughts during this period of bereavement. Mind you, this doesn’t say much, since on almost any given day this notion is ‘par for the course’ for me anyway.
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Dadaism: Defeating The Overlords of Information Overload

'Dada Shutdown' by Jay Schwartz“Can the knowledge deriving from reason even begin to compare with knowledge perceptible by sense?”
– Louis Aragon
 
 “Expert, texpert, choking smoker, don’t you hear the joker laugh at you?”
– John Lennon

 

Wherever you go, you find information. Of course, I do recognize that we are, after all, living in the ‘information age’, but I still can’t help but wonder where all this ‘information’ came from? Who discovered it? How did it begin to spread? Who continues to disseminate it and for what reason? I mean, today we are obviously all full it, so I think these are important considerations.

At some point in history, someone must have come along and said, “Hey there! You! Yes, you! I have some information for you.” Perhaps it was God or a visiting extraterrestrial tourist. Perhaps it was a squirrel. I have no clue. And that my friends is the point of today’s post: I have no clue. Yet, there is one thing I know for certain: there is simply too much information out there!

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Dada Bing Dada Boom: The Art Of Human Ineptness

Dada Payload by Jay Schwartz“What we call dada is foolery, foolery extracted from the emptiness in which all the higher problems are wrapped, a gladiator’s gesture, a game played with the shabby remnants… A public execution of false morality.”
– Hugo Ball
 
“Dada aimed to destroy the reasonable deceptions of man and recover the natural and unreasonable order.”
– Hans Jean Arp

 

The other day I found a large dead cockroach laying upside down in the middle of the sidewalk in front of the post office. It was a variety of which I had rarely seen in the years I’ve lived here in Salonica, but very close to the type of palmetto bugs that are the norm in Miami, where I was born. I had no idea how it had gotten there, but I nonetheless had the distinct feeling it must have fallen from the sky. It certainly hadn’t mailed itself to Greece.

The sight of it took me off guard and I pondered its possible existential meaning for a few moments before I continued down the street towards a distant bus-stop. While riding the bus, I thought about the life of a cockroach … and its end, whether by poisoning, being cannibalized by other bugs, or falling victim to a crushing flip-flop. I confess trying to find some Zen-like answer for its sudden appearance in my life at that particular moment. In truth, I never found an answer, and in fact I still have no idea why I even feel compelled to write about it in this post.

It was just one of those insignificant transient moments in life that shake you to your very core. In the words of ‘Billy’ Shakespeare, however, it was really just ‘much ado about nothing’. Yet, even today, it’s still hard to just let go of the significance of that ‘unprocessed’ moment … because it remains an insult to both my ego the super-ego. (Note: the id conscientiously objected to comment.)

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