Dada Dead Panel UK-Z, May 2016


Following last years’ Dada 100 Seminar and Exhibition at Islington Mill and subsequent joint project with Alice McCabe Porridge after Schwitters, Alice coordinated Dada Dead Panel UK-Z, building on and possibly jeopardising* her relationship with Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich. We were joined by James (Lattin) Mansfield:

‘In Museum-capacity, I am Dr James Lattin, curator of the Museum of Imaginative Knowledge. The Department of Non-Objective Research is part of the Museum and definitely went to Zurich. Dr James Lattin is closely associated with the Department for Non-Objective Knowledge but the exact capacity is to be confirmed.’

Zurich-based performance artist, St. Pauli also joined us. Alice lived and worked in Zurich for five years and has an established international history of collaborative art practice with St. Pauli.


Aims and objectives

As part of Cabaret Voltaire’s year-long itinerary of Dada-related events marking its centenary, we were invited to present our proposed performance under our umbrella objective of the deadpan delivery of nonsense :

100 years on / Unearthed by crisis /
Shaken out of this last century our panel of experts discusses the rediscovered origins of British Dada and its new directions in light of revealing Zurich based research. Mediated by Dada expat Alice McCabe’s “The THERE-THERE School of English Dada” and featuring:

James Mansfield of The Centre for Non-Objective Research
Founded in 2016, the Centre is primarily concerned with investigations into place and space, from the 20th Century to small islands. It will be conducting a detailed piece of research into the cultural geography of Zurich, from its historic residents to contemporary infrastructure.

Jackie Haynes of The Notional Roaming Dada Museum
The Museum has temporarily rolled into a corner due to a new Kurt Schwitters-related art practice-based research appointment.

A vision from the Embodiment Cloakroom
Founded on Osteopathy, based in art history – working towards the NOW.

 Waldo Cockfarm (it’s a long story…), Global Branding Xpert from BBC International



Research methods

Blind faith: following an hour-long Skype conference call and rudimentary flinging around of ideas, we placed ourselves in an intensive situation-responsive framework during our three days together in Zurich.

Team-building: adopting corporate strategies of forced collaboration, we climbed the 869m of Uetliberg , Zurich’s city centre mountain. Once at the top, we bought drinks and potato fries: fellow diners looked on aghast as we got out our own bread and made chip butties.

Everyday-life observations: this was our first time working together, we implicitly adopted  a research as practice approach in order to make the most efficient use of our time, whereby everything counts towards the totality of the exercise. Examples of this are:

Note-taking on the move

Quick-response film, photography and sketches

Amassing artefacts

Dialogue, identifying and elaborating upon unifying threads of interest


chip buttyDSC04284


Theoretical underpinning

Daniel Spoerri’s An Anecdoted Topography of Chance

Unspecified Dada-related thought and action

Mark Dion’s approach to addressing ‘distinctions between objective scientific methods and subjective influences.’


Outcomes (Jackie Haynes)

  1. Cheesehole photography. Zurich Through the Cheesehole
  2. Finger-Pointing Photography: employing the identifiable Dada-trope of the printed pointing finger, leaving no ambiguity as to what is being photographed.
  3. Removed.
  4. Collaboration established between The Notional Roaming Dada Museum and Dadamt, Dada headquarters and extensive resource of Dada-related material. A recently released statement:
    ‘Dada is a spirit and not art.
    so the products of Dada, sometimes also kept in museums,
    are collateral waste.
    St.Pauli invented Dadamt and maintains it.
    St.Pauli is a stained saint.
    But Dadamt is a:
    Paul Dorn is an anthropofopp.
    “foppen” = making jokes with others.
    art is for artists.’

    Subsequent plans were hatched for Dadadaydo wandering into The Wonder Inn, in Manchester/Salford. This will be an event showcasing the creative outcomes of a partially organised drift on Saturday July 9th in partnershit with Collective North.


  5. Cabaret Voltaire: a contested territory following a live on stage mediation session* which proved inconclusive, between the Director, Adrian Notz and Performance Artist, St. Pauli. Further reflection on this outcome to follow this weekend’s MERZ v Dada Boxing Match in London.DSC04287DSC04327DSC04309head ballDada mediation



We were very fortunate to have a full audience comprised of a group of art enthusiasts visiting Cabaret Voltaire on a day trip. It was difficult to gauge their reaction (see above) from our on stage position so we were thrilled to receive feedback from the audience of ‘Wonderful’ and ‘Super’ via Cabaret Voltaire Director, Adrian Notz. Adrian also commented to Alice after our hour-long performance that it had taken a hundred years, but finally there was some British Dada.



To be confirmed.


Contribution to knowledge

To be confirmed.











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