A series of programs exploring the past, present and future of Pataphysics - the "science of the particular" - in Philadelphia and beyond
An imaginative conference exploring the life, works, and continued influence of Alfred Jarry (1873-1907) and his "science of imaginary solutions"
Organized by scholars, poets, collectors, curators, architects, musicians, and visual artists, this conference explores the life, works, and influence of French modernist Alfred Jarry (1873-1907). Jarry's "science of imaginary solutions"—which he termed 'pataphysics—has had a substantial influence on 20th- and 21st-century art, theory, and culture, from Duchamp, Joyce, and Beckett to Satie, Terrasse, and Cage; Deleuze, Baudrillard, and Foucault; William Anastasi, William Kentridge, and Thomas Chimes. 'Pataphysics has influenced not only avant-garde practices throughout the past century, but also popular culture, from science fiction to Monty Python and The Beatles.
This conference aims to present an overview of pataphysical art and thought from Jarry's time to the present, beginning with Alfred Jarry's own oeuvre. Engaging the work of contemporary artists and thinkers as well, the presenters will explore a variety of systems of knowledge and power and debate why so many avant-garde artists and thinkers have seen it as an ideal ludic tool for creative production and socio-political change. This two day conference will begin on the evening of March 21, 2014 at Slought, and continue on March 22, 2014 at the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts at Van Pelt Library at the University of Pennsylvania.
Pataphysics in Philadelphia (4-4:30pm)
Jean-Michel Rabaté, and Aaron Levy, "Slought's Pataphysical Exhibitions"
Mari Shaw, "Philadelphia Pataphysicians: Chimes, Duchamp, Rhoades"
Pataphysics & the Arts (4:30-6pm)
Jill Fell, "From Painting to Poem: A Pataphysical Perspective"
Michael Taylor, "Pataphysics in Philadelphia: The Strange Case of James E. Brewton"
Steve McCaffery, "The Fraternal Contaminant"
Moderated by Christine Poggi
Reception & Exhibition (6-7:30pm) Screening of Geoff Dunbar's "UBU" animation, 1978 (Courtesy Linda Klieger Stillman)
Welcome by David McKnight (10:30-10:45pm)
Jarry: History, Philosophy, Aesthetics (10:45-12:15pm)
Jean-Michel Rabaté, "Pataphallics: Jarry's Novels and Ityphallicism"
Line McMurray, "The Rhizomorhododendron: An Ecopsychological Portrait of Alfred Jarry"
Linda Klieger Stillman, "Robotics and Tyrants: Jarry, Miró, Kentridge"
Moderated by Gerald Prince
Lunch Break (12:15-2pm)
Pataphysics & Poetry (2-3:30pm)
Katie L. Price, "Playing at Pataphysics: Contemporary Poetry and Imaginary Solutions"
Craig Dworkin, "Text Engines: On the Potential Energy of Literature"
Christian Bök, "The Xenotext—(A Progress Report)"
Moderated by Charles Bernstein
Coffee Break (3:30-4pm)
Conclusion & Keynote Address (4-5:30pm)
John Heon, "Pataphysics at Penn: Syzygy and Synergy"
Keynote Address: Andrew Hugill, "Pataphysics and Computing"
Closing Reception (5:30-7:30pm)