Dadamatic Mail Art

Saturday, October 1, 2016 through Saturday, December 31, 2016

San Francisco Public Library, Skylight Gallery, 6th Floor, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, California, 94102
The San Francisco History Center's SF Punk Archive is pleased to present Dadamatic Mail Art: Irene Dogmatic’s collection, which includes stamp art assemblings, rare zines, photographs, postcards, Xerox art, and ephemeral pieces by dozens of early practioners, including Bill Gaglione, Monty Cazazza, Pat Tavenner, Genesis P-Orrige, Boyd Rice, Mark Mothersbaugh, Anna Banana, Al Blaster, Patti Smith, and Opal Nations. The exhibition opens on Saturday, October 1st, in the Skylight Gallery wall cases, Sixth Floor, Main Library, and continues through December 31st.

Irene Dogmatic started her career as a visual and performance artist in the Bay Area in 1972; and is best known for her surreal and satirical paintings of dogs and people, as well as her time in the original punk bands, The Beautykillers, SST, and the Kahunas.

Irene’s involvement with Mail Art began in the early 70’s when she came across a fake newspaper flyer by Lou Carson and Pat Tavenner, the editors of the brief-lived publication, Mail Order Art. Soon she was rubbing elbows with B.A.D. (Bay Area Dadaists) and operating in the loosely connected underground art movement which was building on William Burroughs’s idea of image-as-virus, the absurdity of Dadaism, and the anti-commercial / anti-art sensibility of Fluxus.

As John Held Jr. recently asserts in Art Quarterly, “[Mail Art’s]… DIY nature includes all and rejects none. In an analog state, postal interaction paved the way for the Internet in preparation for a digitally creative, open, international communication system. Mail art’s greatest asset is the wide arc of its inclusion. Dismissed in the eyes of critics by its uneven quality, the totality of the network is its greatest strength and provides an incisive view into contemporary cultural concerns.”

Dadamatic is presented by San Francisco Public Library's San Francisco History Center in honor of the 100th anniversary of Dada.


The Most Dada Thing: Neo-Dada in San Francisco

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 through Saturday, December 31, 2016

San Francisco Public Library, Skylight Gallery, 6th Floor, 100 Larkin Street, San Francisco, California, 94102

The San Francisco History Center's SF Punk Archive and Book Arts & Special Collections are pleased to present The Most Dada Thing, an exhibition of artifacts left behind by the Bay Area Dadaists and the creators of Inter Dada 84. Inter Dada 84 was an internationally attended celebration of the spirit of DADA. It took place over seven days in Sept, 1984 in multiple SF locations, showcasing performances, videos, films, mail art, photography, lectures and carousing.



The Second International Dada Fair

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016 through Friday, November 11th, 2016

California College of the Arts, Hubbell Street Galleries, 161 Hubbell Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

The opening reception from 6 – 9 P.M. is appropriately on Tuesday, November 8th, election day in the United States, and will include streaming live coverage of the results.

Gallery hours are 12-5pm Tuesday-Saturday and 12-7pm on Thursdays. On Tuesday, November 8th, we anticipate the gallery being open till 9 PM for the election coverage.

On June 1st, 1920, the First International Dada “Fair” opened in a small gallery space in Berlin. Featuring photomontage, painting, sculpture and posters, the exhibition was conceived as a radical attack on the socio-political status quo of contemporary Germany and its recent past. The “Second International Dada Fair” – on view at Hubbell Street Galleries reprises this important event with works by students in CCA’s Visual Studies seminar “The Subversive Art of Dada.”


The Pataphysics of Dada

Thursday, November 3, 2016 through Saturday November 12, 2016

Canessa Gallery, 708 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, CA 94111

Before Dada, there was Alfred Jarry. Jarry developed the science of Pataphysics. This has nothing to do with Dada. Yet, many a dadaist has sung the praises of Jarry's Ubu Plays. Is Dada a form of crypto-pataphysics? You decide. This unique art exhibit engages people of all ages to inquire about their future and act on it. It encourages creative exploration by combining visual arts and new technology, the ‘maker spirit’ and ‘combinatorial poetics’. Visitors are invited to sit on the Pataphysical throne, facing three mysterious cabinets of curiosity. They can ask Ubu, the patron saint of Pataphysics, for “instructions from the future”: he shares surreal and whimsical words of advice (e.g.: “Embrace purple sky”), which are printed on your receipt — and spoken with a thick french accent. For additional inspiration, guests can then open one of 20 “wonderboxes”. Each box contains a different art scene: a singing flower, an alien invader, a red devil, a happy buddha or a native shaman, for example. Some of them sparkle with lights, some speak to you, others are animated robots — and an ‘olfactory clock’ tells the time with scents of cinnamon buns or blueberry pie.

Opening Night Party
Thursday, November 3, 2016, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
The Pataphysics of Dada Benediction
Location: Canessa Gallery, 708 Montgomery Street, San Francisco, 94111
A Pataphysical presentation with the Unveiling of the Pataphysical Slot Machine                                           
Doctor Canard, Professor Fabio, Dr. Figurine, Professor Really, Dr. Rindbrain and their colleagues will present an evening of exploration into the "science of imaginary solutions and the laws governing exceptions".

Exhibit Hours / Showtimes

  • Opening Night Thursday Nov. 3, 6-8pm
  • ‘Pataphysics of Dada Friday Nov. 4, 6-8pm
  • ‘Pataphysics of Dada Saturday Nov. 5, 1- 4pm
  • Pata Dada Ha Ha Event Saturday Nov. 5, 6-8pm
  • ‘Pataphysics of Dada Sunday Nov. 6, 1-4pm
  • ‘Pataphysics of Dada Friday Nov. 11, 4-7pm
  • Closing Night Saturday Nov. 12, 4-8pm


DADA Remix

Friday, November 4, 2016 through Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Swissnex, Pier 17, San Francisco, 94111    

To celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Dada movement, born at the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich, swissnex San Francisco collaborates with partners Dock18 and Kunsthaus Zurich to present the exhibit, website and performances of Re: Dada. Dada’s historic tactics to remix, collage, share, and deconstruct reveal a democratic idea of art that still drives internet, DIY, open source and ‘remix culture’ today.

Since many Dada art works are now in the public domain, Dock18 has built an online platform to invite artists, writers and makers to ‘remix’ the digital images, words, sounds and actions. Through the transformation of public Dada art works using 21st century tools and concepts, Re:Dada fosters an exchange between Swiss and US artists.

The Re:Dada exhibition will be realized in three different forms: a physical exhibition, an online platform, and a Dada Deck. The physical exhibition will be hosted at swissnex in San Francisco, where transformed Dada works will be displayed in their physical form. These works will be linked to an online platform where artists are invited to remix, collage, and respond to prompts sent out by the Re:Dada curators in the weeks preceding the exhibition opening. As visitors walk through the gallery, they will be able to play games with the Dada Deck, a stack of trading cards representing remixed works of the Dada movement.

Participating Artists:
Daniel Boos / Mario Purkathofer
Anna Cholinska
Tom Comitta
Sofia Cordova  
Paul Dorn
Jonathon Keats
Lord Klitchko
Tony Labat
Jenny Odell
Bruno Schlatter  
Vänçi Stirnemann  
Claude Winterberg
W3rkh0f (Kent Clelland and Jana Honegger)  

For more info visit:



Neo Dada Collage/ John Heartfield AIZ presentation

Saturday, November 5, 2016, 8:00 p.m. reception, 9:30p.m. presentation (Admission Free, but by invitation only. Invitations become available October 18 at the front counter at City Lights)

SF Collage Museum, 50-A Bannam Place, San Francisco, California, (near the corner of Union and Grant Avenue in San Francisco's North Beach)                                                  

An exhibit of local collage art inspired by Dada. Featured will be the work of Scott Davis, John Hundt, David King,  Poly Morphous, and Winston Smith. Followed by a discussion of the life, work, and influence of John Heartfield by his grandson John Heartfield followed by a discussion with Winston Smith and David King.

John Heartfield was an artistic innovator who developed the modern art form of political montage. His influence on the realm of the 20th century Avante-garde has been extensive. He spearheaded vehement attacks on the Nazi party earning him status as a public enemy in the eyes of Hitler. Though Heartfield's work reached millions and he played a central role in Berlin Dada, his place in 20th century art has gone underappreciated. We will explore his life and work with a special emphasis on his techniques and the politics he embraced - fighting the advent of totalitarianism in the 20th century.



Dada Magazines

Tuesday, November 1, 2016 through Sunday, November 13, 2016

Goethe Institut San Francisco, 530 Bush Street, Art Lounge (street level entrance) San Francisco, CA 94108

The Dada movement gave birth to a variety of magazines and journals that were radical in their artistic design for their day. Their influence can be charted to the present. Goethe Institut San Francisco will present a display of the covers of these periodicals for the length of Dada World Fair. When you attend one of the several events scheduled during the festival, make sure to peruse this display.