Dada and the Logic of Inflation

Dada and the inflation were connected through a logic of absurd orgiastic growth, whose socio-psychological consequences caused a collective confusion – not because the economic situation or the situation at the Dada soirees was so difficult to grasp, but because both events provided the social experience of meaninglessness. Ostwald’s correlation of Dada with the inflation points precisely to that. And although he was highly critical of Dada, Ostwald might have understood very well – through studying the inflation – that the goal of the Dada movement was the erosion of established cultural practices and norms.

What is fascinating about all of this, is that Dada was not a product of the hyperinflation, it did not emerge at the time, when money lost its economic stabilizing function. The calculus of meaninglessness that permeated Dada poetry and manifestos existed before the fiscal breakdown. Furthermore, Dada peaked and ended quite at the time, when the hyperinflation was about to happen. I do not want to argue that the Dadaists caused the devaluation of money, but that they provided a cultural frame of reference for economical shifts that were about to happen.

<<  Ausgabe 05 | Seite 20  >>