Altan Yavuz is a 37-year old father. He has recently lost his bachelor status and wedded a young maiden next door from his humble village home. On the night of their wedding, the two copulate in faithful harmony,
producing a child. Atlan is positively ecstatic. He scrambles to find an outlet to express his excitement at being a father for his homeland, and continuing the Yavuz bloodline. Facebook is not enough (I assume there
is a Turkish equivalent but work with me here), nor is simply keeping his joy limited to his social circle. Mr. Yavuz NEEDS all of the world to understand that he has finally done his duty and become a father.
Altan fires up his Windows XP machine, cooking dinner for his newly-wed wife as the monitor clicks on and the fans chug, yearning for years' worth of dust to part and give it life. Navigating to his pirated copy of Adobe Premiere, opening up 17 individual tabs of Google Image searches for permutations of "Funny Baby Pictures," the blissful man gets to work assembling a hodgepodge that, in his eyes, is a masterpiece of a father to his prospective child. He slaves away in between stirring tonight's meal and listening to his nagging wife, determined to complete his production. He has found his favorite techno track, curated a variety of cute and funny GIFs and pictures of children, and overlaid the assortment with, in his words, effects of the "Super Special Psychedelic" variety. Navigating to YouTube on what is essentially a 56k modem, Atlan Yavuz does not leave the glow of his computer monitor until his life's work has been uploaded for the world to see. "NEW TURK DAD," it proclaims to viewers around the world. He sleeps well that night, anticipating the delivery of his child, and maybe hoping he gets a few views in the process.
Actually, I lied. That's not what happened. Not at all. NEW TURK DAD is but one of many postmodern videos by the elusive YouTube user Cboyardee. Responsible for such classics as Dilbert 2 , gorge bush is a Great ape from the Zoo and the famous post-apocalyptic indie hit Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, Cboyardee has had a small, but tight cult following for many years. The above video is my personal favorite work by his. He channels the lo-fi absurdism and technological impotency commonly applied as a stereotype to Middle Eastern cultures, and makes something utterly heartfelt and indulgent into a satirical nightmare.
Perhaps there is a man out there named Altan Yavuz who loves making dumb YouTube videos with strange editing to show his love of bringing new life to anybody willing to give him a platform. Perhaps Cboyardee was just feeling proud of Turkey for having really unnecessarily good food and decided to pay tribute to them in the most dysfunctional way possible. Whatever the case, NEW TURK DAD is but one example of the surreal effect Dadaist art can have. By taking familiar forms and reapplying them in often blunt fashions, new art is made that might be utterly devoid of meaning to the author while containing massive potential for interpretation. Let's step away from Istanbul and go to Mars, next.
Few have lived to speak personally with the Galaxian civilians known only as Koko Freakbean and Melon Jowl. When not perusing the universe to wreak interdimensional havoc, they descend into Houston, TX to send audiovisual
splatter in an attempt to communicate with humanity. The duo operates from their ship, the SS C.J.R. aka Computer Jesus Refrigerator, a craft that looks somewhere between a microwave oven and a subwoofer, capable of reaching
Mach 12 in a matter of fourteen nanoseconds. Koko's initial offerings to the human race were slim due to his fear of revealing too much about he and Melon's home planet, so the first videos Earth would bear witness to
belonged to the CJR Loop series.
Loop #3 is much happier in tone than the other two that preceeded it. Koko and Melon bound around each other, emitting beacons of light and squealing in ecstasy while projecting themselves onto what looks to be an ordinary television set. Koko even shows off his cloning abilities to the audience! Though there's no rhyme or reason to their antics, one can only assume they've had a wonderful time on Earth so far. At the very least, fans of Koko and Melon were pleased to learn that the two were capable of acquiring property and making their mark on the world. What makes Loop #3 especially important, though, is that it shows the beginnings of a true friendship before Koko and Melon, long before the Opal Tuck incident.
I could do this all day, but you get the idea. KOKOFREAKBEAN is the alias of Michael Vasquez, a graphic designer and experimental musician who lives in Texas and has worked with Adult Swim on some of their shows. His videos are maximialist love letters to abstract imagery and violent seizure-inducing strobes, all bundled up with his eccentric sense of dress. It's cliche to go with the "I think they're trying to communicate with us" trope for media like this, but it rings true in allowing something utterly outlandish in cohesion to naturally fall into tropes like this. At their core, NEW TURK DAD and Loop #3 are merely sensationalist media, revelling in postmodern sensibilities while asking little, if anything of the viewer. In this sense, we come to a "Choose Your Own Adventure" situation, where the interpretation is as mutable as the audience ordains it to be.
Okay, here's where I come in. I like to think of outlier media as having an inherent CYOA (Choose Your Own Adventure) quality to it. If I look at Aboriginal art from some civilization I've never heard of, and I ascribe my own
personal meaning to it, that does not mean the interpretation of the creator is lost in the soup of differing emotive responses. Instead, it adds to the original. Let's take this in stride and apply it to some early Dada film.
From YouTube, for the original copy of this video: "1928 Dadaist Film by Director Hans Richter. This film is dedicated to Columbus Ohio Street Performer Th' Rocknroll Reverend, who on the night of March 1st 2011 during a performance on the corners of 5th and High Streets, was beaten by two unknown assailants who were instructed by a young man and his overweight "Trick" to beat him. Th' Rev then made his way to a local tobacco store where he was molested by an elderly hippie with a blonde fright wig. Th' Reverend was last seen wearing an Elephant Trunk, Red,White and Blue Top Hat. White Hooded Terry Cloth Robe and Indian Moccasins. Anyone with any information to this Crime please Contact the Columbus Ohio Police. And the next time you see Th' Rev, Don't take his coffee...Just give him a cigarette!"
By my own admission, I hadn't a clue what this film was about. I typed in "Dadaism Film" on Google and clicked one of the first results. Knowing the history now...does not help with my interpretation. I had no clue what was supposed to be happening here then, and I don't now. So, what did I do then? I made the film even weirded with a small assortment of post-processing effects. These include stuttery motion, color correction, and that weird mask thing in the bottom left about halfway through. I just wanted to provide an unnerving angle to the work and see what it would change. The icing on the cake was including some music. I don't dabble in sound poetry music since it's a barren genre to the broad public, but I happened to have one card up my sleeve in the form of "Midday" by OneOhTrix Point Never and Rene Hell, from a split LP they did together some years ago. Without going too much into the song itself, I think it added a nice layer to the remixed video to make it seem like some "Ring-type shit" according to my roommate. Hook, Line and Sinker.
The rest of this website is a creative exercise in transforming surrealism, dadaism and the Fluxus movement in some experimental ways. Here I laid out a mission statement and remade a dadaist production with my own love for cultish horror movies in mind. Also included is an analysis of a Gertrude Stein poem that gets a bit too detailed; A play-by-play timeline of the absurd events from a Cabaret Voltaire show; A meshing of Fluxus instructions with found GIFs and videos; A few sound poems, two of which were made with the assistance of an AI; And the hopeful beginnings of a rudimentary "Sound Walk" text adventure.