One Essay and One Poem, Submissions For Harbinger Asylum

The Truth About Nada

The truth is a joke. At least it’s a joke as it’s used here in the title of this essay. There is no truth–there, I said it.

When a word is created an entity is born. Dada proposes absurdity and Nada points toward negation or nihilism, so either a) we stand for the negation of absurdity or b) we’re about absurd nothingness. These are contradictory notions but I plan to dispel neither of these myths.

If the Socratic method were to be applied, no answers would be offered but instead, only questions. Is this some kind of Buddhist koan then? What is NadaDada? What is not NadaDada? How necessary is bureaucracy? What is this, an autocracy? From where does our power come? How necessary is money? Are artists entertainers? Is art a commodity? We all have to make a living, right?

What it is and what it is not get discussed alot but the truth about NadaDada is in the motto: Get a room, make a show. That’s it. I can share this one central tenant of our little art movement and that is the motivation that NadaDada has always striven for since January of 2007. We are a working model of non-central governance–horizontal alliance. In other words we are all our own bosses.

We start to see how endless our unrestricted, individual universes can be. We start to meet the co-creators and our wider audiences: we share in the appreciation. Connection is a multiplier and the gestalt broadens the experience of art. There’s no one to herd us toward what’s appropriate, either in terms of morals or in terms of style. There is no jurying.

The challenge in putting such a philosophy to work is in finding how such an elusive organization as is one made of individual creatives could work toward any singular goal. But this singular goal amounts to opening up an unrestricted flow of freedoms in creative expression–individual expression. You know, fine art.

A commercial commodification has been adapted to the art industrial complex and the danger is in taking this for granted… like I said we all gotta’ make a living but we cannot forget that art is an action, not a thing. If you don’t think that’s true, you haven’t experienced the changes our relationship to art goes through: I hate this piece or artist and then someone enlightens me to the truths/intentions found in this piece or work of this artist.

Maybe our contemporary eyes have latched on to the attractiveness of something in this world that might live beyond our own DNA but the materiality of a painting is the by product of something far greater, something ever changing. Creativity is an action/activity/occupation and as close to the divine as a human can get.

“Creatio ex nihilio”: creation from nothing.

Artists are open to possibilities and what “can be”. Art is transient. Nothing is permanent. We show art in motel rooms. Check out time is 11.


Sugar Dance Dream

Sugar comes from space.

This harnessed specter

painted on somber face

hallowed this nascent grace

This femme framed

held she in place

by hundred yards of dress

this performance space was her nest

her prison

And I, drawn in

at third floor

a wordless behest

for a moment waned a lunar gaze

afternoon from the west

sunlit chest

the enticement of the taste.

This prohibition dream I had

in 1931 from end of the hallway

at an elevator shaft

Riveting was this dazzlement

this suffragette


was this one ghostlike

a confectionary enslavement

enrapt a nimbus

this love a lingua

metastasized between us

the heartbeat found quickened

and when the dance:

a noose.

This luminess

the minotaur

in her maze

and then..

she let me loose.

I’m lucky to be alive

and the cookies were delish.

-Chad Sorg


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