Selected Sound Poems by Hugo Ball & Raoul Hausmann

An edited selection of sound poetry from two pioneers in the form.

The poems grouped in this collection are composed of nonsense sounds, single letters and onomatopoeia. They emphatically resist clear associations to any particular language, or even any invented language, their importance residing precisely in their meaninglessness. Belonging to no language, there is in them no notion of meaning that could be translated. can you translate nonsense?

Today, near the centenary of Hugo Ball’s first sound poetry performance on June 1916, at the Cabaret Voiltarie in Zurich, the poems are easily available throughout the internet. To get there, however, they underwent a few changes. They became translated somehow: encoded. The ‘original’ dadaist poems became a surface with something added which they didn’t have before, yet something that is still language and can be read.

The versions in this collection attempt to show what becomes of a poem, even one that is nonsensical, anarchic, when we put it through the technologies that we now take for granted, and how these technologies may affect the way we perceive the historical avant-gardes.

Harcover bound

130 pages

15.24 cm x 22.86 cm


Published by the artist

Open edition

Store ↗