ABSTRACT

Can a tool designed to detect dogs detect Dada? We apply a cutting-edge image analysis tool, convolutional neural networks (CNNs), to a collection of page images from modernist journals. This process radically deforms the images from cultural artifacts into lists of numbers. We determine whether the tool can distinguish Dada from other non-Dada avant-garde works, and in the process learn something about the cohesiveness of Dada as a visual form. We can also analyze the “mistakes” made in classifying Dada to search for the visual influence of Dada as a movement.

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