Dada was an anarchic movement against bourgeois society, which flourished from 1915 to 1922.  It was, in part, brought on by the disillusionment of the horrors of the First World War.  It started in Zurich (which was neutral) in 1916, when expatriate artists and writers such as Jean Arp and Tristan Tzara began gathering at the Cabaret Voltaire, founded by German writer Hugo Ball.  The group was sickened by war and disgusted by the society that produced it.  As a result, they wanted to confound logic, reason, and authority to take over the bourgeois. 

The group abandoned traditional painting and sculpture, preferring techniques such as collage and photomontage.  By the end of World War I, the movement reached other German cities such as Berlin and Cologne, and simultaneously (though independently) appeared in New York.  Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, and Man Ray formed their own movement in the United States similar to the principles of European Dada.  Other cities, including Paris and Prague, would be influenced by the movement as well.  Although the movement did not span many years, its principles would be extremely influential for other "anti-art" movements throughout the century.