This site was created entirely by D.A. Jaffe to showcase her multi-media art, writing, photography, film, typography and graphic design.
She discovered Dada when she was 18 and it changed her life. For once the absurd could make sense, the nonsense of life could have a voice and be acknowledged and celebrated.
For over 30 years she has studied and created modern art, writing, and experimental noise music. She is proficient in Photoshop, html/css web site design and coding. This site is entirely a one-person effort.
She also founded Atomic Mobiles over a decade ago and makes kinetic art mobiles and stabiles for clients around the world.
She was born in northern Indiana, moved to San Francisco and lived in the Bay Area for 16 years in the Haight-Ashbury, the Mission, and Marin County.
She now lives in Los Angeles. Her home is filled with art, bold color, thousands of books, vinyl lps, CDs, cassettes, and vintage 1950/60s/70s Blenko glass.
She works in a 4 room studio space in the lower level of her home, on a 27" iMac, MacBook Pro, MacMini, Epson 44" giclee printer, Epilog laser cutter, and X-Carve CNC router.
Proudly self taught. The artist resides inside and ultimately art cannot be taught.
For once the absurd could make sense, the nonsense of life could have a voice and be acknowledged and celebrated
Having been forced to move away from my little Indiana hometown, I became a bored disgusted outcast hermit of a teenager stuck in Des Moines Iowa. I wanted excitement! art! creativity! weirdness! I wanted to do something big and interesting and felt lost, lacking in anything resembling resources, and unsure how to find what I was looking for. I was damn sure it was not to be found in Des Moines. But I didn't let that stop me. Those were the days before the internet, finding information about obscure weird things was not easy. You had radio, tv, newspapers, magazines, and books, and if you had no money that made the search even more difficult.
The punk movement had just reached the United States and I became aware of its rebellion and potential for musical and cultural revolution and it was exciting to me. However, to a small town girl who was shy beyond belief, it was also scary. I was very interested in what the Sex Pistols were doing in England, it had a sense of energy and violence, it was raw with a fuck it all attitude.
I scanned the radio dial desperately searching for a station that might play a song that would sound different, that would be something other than just pop music. I grew up listening to AM radio and even at the young age of five I understood the significance of the Beatles and the music of the time. I had a crush on Ringo and kept a picture of him next to my bed, my mom thought it was cute. By the time I was seven, my musical curiosity grew stronger, so when my brother was at school I would sneak into his room and study his record album jackets in awe and wonder. The Beatles "Rubber Soul", the Beach Boys, Loving Spoonful, Dylan... the adult musical and creative world puzzled me. The album covers were fascinating.
So back in Des Moines this teenager happened upon a station that played entire albums from start to finish. Most of the albums they played were not what I was looking for, just more boring bland mainstream crap. Then one night they played Talking Heads "More Songs About Buildings And Food". I knew from the first few notes THIS WAS IT. Oh my god, where did this music come from?! It might as well have come from aliens on another planet, and it seemed to me as if it did. I loved it.
from The Big Country
about the midwest
"I couldn't do the things the way those people do
I couldn't live there if you paid me to"
So I went on a quest to find more Talking Heads. I scraped together $5 and bought Fear of Music. It seemed dark and I liked the title and the textural jacket. But that first song on Side One. I Zimbra. That song puzzled me. Gibberish lyrics. Where did that come from, who was Hugo Ball, and why in the world was it important enough for it to be featured front and center on the album? I knew I was onto something exciting. I don't recall exactly how I researched Hugo Ball -- public library no doubt -- somehow I figured out he was involved with something called Dada.
Just the word gave me a rush. This was IT. Dada was an art movement that didn't want to be an art movement and thus began the concept of modern art. It pre-dated surrealism and totally blew my little mind. So began my obsessed quest to find out everything I could about this thing called Dada, to learn and memorize and study with fascination.
In a stroke of luck, I somehow found out that there was a campus library in Des Moines with a multitude of amazing books on Dada. You weren't allowed to check them out, they were reference only, so I'd sit there all day reading and looking at big beautiful books about Dada. I was in heaven and dreamed of someday owning all these amazing art books.
(I should also note there is an amazing online Dada archive, oddly enough at the University of Iowa.)
I decided I wanted to be a writer and spent long hours writing poems, lyrics, novels, and stream of consciousness novels. This obsession also came from discovering the work of William S. Burroughs, who also blew my tender mind. Blending the nonsense of Dada and cut-up and stream of consciousness I started writing my own novels.
I spent hours in solitude in my little room, writing my heart out. Imagining how my life would go, wondering what great things I might do and feeling completely incapable of really living life, and yet at the same time I knew I could do any great thing I set out to do.