MAINTENANT 12: A Journal of Contemporary Dada Writing and Art serves up the controversial theme, “WE ARE ALL A ‘LIKE’.” With the rise in social media use—and abuse—the concept of “like” has reached whole new levels. There’s the idea of an individual’s reaction to events, people, images, etc. as a reduction to “Like” or “Dislike” without need for deeper consideration. Then there is the status factor: that something which is “Liked” by the largest number of people is of value. In fact, in the social media orbit, it is seemingly beneficial to offer strong, sharp, simplistic opinions—instead of nuanced, deeper, shaded considerations—simply because they provoke the greatest likelihood of widespread attention. How will this reduction of thought shape the future of interpersonal relations, intellectual advancement, and politics? As we teeter on the brink of nuclear war, the concept of Dada brilliantly encompasses the urgency of present times with both clarity and purposeful confusion.
The MAINTENANT series, established in 2005, gathers the work of renowned and emerging dada artists and writers from around the world. The series has been archived in leading international institutions including the Museum of Contemporary Art–New York, the BelVUE Museum–Brussels, and more. Renowned contributors have included artists Mark Kostabi, Raymond Pettibon, Giovanni Fontana, Jean-Jacques Lebel, and Kazunori Murakami. Writers have included Allen Ginsberg, Gerard Malanga, Charles Plymell, Jerome Rothenberg, and more, with a strong contingent of punk musician-artist-writers including Grant Hart, Mike Watt, and Exene Cervenka.