top of page

Dada ReBoot!


Saturday, September 29, 2012(sunset to sunrise September 30, 2012)


An Independent Project for ScotiaBank Nuit Blanche 2012

Curated by Thom Sokoloski

Presented by The Distillery Historic District.


'Dada ReBoot!' examined the artistic originality of the Dadaists and how it could be revisited and reinterpreted today as a significant art movement of inventiveness, creativity and insight into the zeitgeist of our times.


Dada or Dadaism was an art movement of the European avant-garde in the early twentieth century. It began in Zurich, Switzerland in 1916, spreading to Berlin shortly thereafter. To quote Dona Budd's The Language of Art Knowledge, "Dada was born out of negative reaction to the horrors of World War I. This international movement was begun by a group of artists and poets associated with the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. Dada rejected reason and logic, prizing nonsense, irrationality and intuition. The origin of the name Dada is unclear; some believe that it is a nonsensical word. Others maintain that it originates from the Romanian artists Tristan Tzara and Marcel Janco's frequent use of the words da, da, meaning yes, yes in the Romanian language. Another theory says that the name "Dada" came during a meeting of the group when a paper knife stuck into a French-German dictionary happened to point to 'dada', a French word for 'hobbyhorse."


The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestos, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a rejection of the prevailing standards in art through anti-art cultural works. In addition to being anti-war, Dada was also anti-bourgeois and had political affinities with the radical left. Dada activities included public gatherings, demonstrations, the publication of art and literary journals, and a passionate coverage of art, politics, and culture. The intent of their many projects was to sustain a topical public presence. One that commanded the same authority to be reviewed, discussed and challenged in information medias as did politics and war

Key figures in the movement included Hugo Ball, Emmy Hennings, Hans Arp, Raoul Hausmann, Hannah Höch, Johannes Baader, Tristan Tzara, Francis Picabia, Richard Huelsenbeck, Georg Grosz, John Heartfield, Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, and Hans Richter, among others. The movement influenced later styles like the avant-garde and downtown music movements, and groups including surrealism, Nouveau réalisme, pop art and Fluxus.My hope is that 'DaDa ReBoot!' will bring together a group of interested and inspired artists who will examine the many artistic and political questions of our past through a mass collective creation that incites a robust dialogue between themselves and their public about our present and future.


39 artworks were curated to be part of Dada ReBoot! Click here for the smartphone programme. Join our Facebook Page here for images and writings of the artworks and artists who are participating!
















Selected Artists:

Adrienne Marcus-Raja, Alvin Collantes, Ana Vujcuf, Anahita Azrahimi, Anali Reizvikh, Andrew James Paterson, Sio, Angelica Teuta, Annie Wong, Arturo Herrera, Brian Wagner, Caitlin Martin, Cassandra Witteman, Christopher McLeod, Coral Aiken, David Griffin, David Jones, Edward de Ryk, Emma Doran, Gregory Wayne Lindo, Heather Hughes, In'trinzik Dance Project, Jacob Niedzwiecki, Jelena Ciric, Jenny Anne McCowan, John Notten, Jill Tomac, Jolie Feger, Jonny Silver, Kristiina Lahde, Kristin Sweetland, Laura Vanessa Bromwich, Madison Leeson, Matt Marr, Matthew Catalano, Michelle Fox, Michael Hansen, Nickolas Hadzis, Nicole Cornish, Pauline Craig, Reanna Niceforo, Rhonda Nolan, Roger A. Galvez, Ross Wirtanen, Rusiko Lomtatidze, Steven White, Talia Eylon, Tamar Eylon, Tatiana Jennings + Kadozuke Kollectif, Terry McGlade, Typecast Dance Company, Victoria Gibson, Shiela Wilson, Zoë Alexis-Abrams, Zoey's Projects.


Artists selected participated by proposing a project which reinterpreted or was inspired by one of the hundreds of multi-disciplinary works created by the Dadaists. These may include but are not limited to;

Performance Art, Advertising, Cooking, Fashion, Cinema, Cabaret, Media Art, Sound Art, Puppetry, Photography, Action Painting + Sculpting, Theatre, Performance, Dance, Music Constructions + Performance, Poetry + Manifesto Readings, Opera, Architecture, Art Criticism, Journalism, Posters, Archive Reproductions. Please keep in mind that ScotiaBanks's Nuit Blanche is a 12-hour durational visual arts experience! Any work submitted must meet the basic criteria of starting at sunset and ending at sunrise as one individual artwork or as part of a programme of a collective artwork, such as a cabaret-style event inclusive of dance, theatre and music.


Research Links:


Dada On-Line: this is a great resource!

Dada Art: another great resource!

The Dada Companion: resource!

Dada: A great 50 minute overview. Filmed with the cooperation of original Dadaists Hans Richter and Richard Hulsenbeck, this unique motion picture collage of art, music and poetry is not only an alphabet of German Dadaism, but is in itself, a true Dadaist experience.

Ghosts Before Breakfast: (1927 - Hans Richter) Rare Dada film. (8,32)

Blood of a Poet: (1930 Jean Cocteau) Criterion. Film. (46,49)

Anemic Cinema: (1926 Marcel Duchamp) Film. (6,40)

Entr'acte: (1924 René Clair), premiered as an entr'acte for the Ballets Suédois production Relâche at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Relâche is based on a book and with settings by Francis Picabia, produced by Rolf de Maré, and with choreography by Jean Börlin. The music for both the ballet and the film was composed by Erik Satie. For this production, the Dadaists collaborating on the project invented a new mode of production: instantanéisme. The complete film takes about 20 minutes using such techniques as watching people run in slow motion, watching things happen in reverse, looking at a ballet dancer from underneath, watching an egg over a fountain of water get shot and instantly become a bird and watching people disappear. The cast included cameo appearances by Francis Picabia, Erik Satie, Man Ray, and Marcel Duchamp. The conductor of the orchestra at the premiere was Roger Désormière.In this (definitive) edition the soundtrack was conducted in 1967 by Henri Sauguet.

The Starfish // L'Etoile de Mer: (1928 Man Ray). The film is based on a script by Robert Desnos and depicts a couple (Alice Prin and André de la Rivière) acting through scenes that are shot out of focus.Stars: Kiki of Montparnasse, André de la Rivière and Robert Desnos.

Le ballet mecanique: (1924 Fernand Leger) Do not adjust your volume, music starts at :30. Music by George Antheil. Film by Fernand Leger and Dudley Murphey. Performed on May 8th 1989 at The Japan American Theatre, as part of The Los Angeles Philharmonics Green Umbrella Series, by the CalArts Percussion Ensemble and The 20th Century Players. Directed by Lucky Mosko. Film Restoration by William Moritz. Percussionists: Meira Asher, Matt Bornong, Jeff Drey Brenner, Adam Levenson, Ed Mann, David Shaffer, Julie Spencer, Todd Szabo. Keyboards: Blaise Bryski, Mellissa Hui, Gaylord Mowry, Bryan Pezzone.

Dada + how to make a Dada Poem: Fun film about Tzara.





  • Facebook - Black Circle
bottom of page