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’Pataphysics is the science of that which is superinduced upon metaphysics, whether within or beyond the latter’s limitations, extending as far beyond metaphysics as the latter extends beyond physics. … Pataphysics will be, above all, the science of the particular, despite the common opinion that the only science is that of the general. Pataphysics will examine the laws governing exceptions, and will explain the universe supplementary to this one.
– Alfred Jarry
If physics proposes: “You have a brother and he likes cheese”, then metaphysics replies : ”if you have a brother, he likes cheese. But ‘Pataphysics says : ”You don’t have a brother and he likes cheese”.
– Georges Perec
Pataphysics is the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments
– Alfred Jarry
A look at the writer Alfred Jarry, who, at the end of the 19th century, had completed his portentous novel Gestes et opinions du docteur Faustroll : pataphysicien (translated as Exploits and Opinions of Dr. Faustroll, Pataphysician), a book which was not published until four years after his death, in 1907, seemingly following his own dictum that “This book will not be published in full until the author has acquired enough experience to savour all its beauties”. Following its trinity of heroes, one Dr Faustroll, who is trying to evade the summons issued by Panmuphle, a bailiff tasked with the duty of bringing him to justice for failure to pay the rent, and a monkey, Bosse-de-Nage (Arse Face), as they journey in Faustroll’s boat across the skies (or through the sewers) of Paris, the book is both a eulogy to Jarry’s antecedents and contemporaries in the Parisian avant-garde and an outline of the burgeoning pseudo-science of ‘Pataphysics, whose influence has since spread across the globe, whilst its practitioners freely acknowledge that its very lack of a wholly characterising definition is proof of its essentially pataphysical nature, which can only mean they’re on the right track. This wholesomely baffling evening will therefore be an attempt to honour both Jarry and his science of imaginary solutions.
This session will be run as part of the Exploding Appendix Avant-garde Art Practice and Research Group’s fortnightly meetup, which will be taking place online via Zoom (https://us02web.zoom.us/j/7317698673?pwd=OTlBN3RzalBRMGh1TW9qSHNDWmptdz09). The meeting ID is 731 769 8673. The passcode is “go“. This session will be run by Marc Muir and take place on the 6th April 2021 from 19:30 – 22:30 (UTC UK time). If you would like to join us for the session, or have any questions please message me at email@example.com
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