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For a situological critique of 'pataphysics, see pataphysical situation.

'Pataphysics or pataphysics, an absurdist concept coined by the French writer Alfred Jarry, is a philosophy or science dedicated to studying what lies beyond the realm of metaphysics. It is a parody of the theory and methods of modern science and is often expressed in nonsensical language. A practitioner of 'pataphysics is a 'pataphysician or a 'pataphysicist.

In the 1960s 'pataphysics was used as a conceptual principle within various fine art forms, especially pop art and popular culture. Works within the 'pataphysical tradition tend to focus on the processes of their creation, and elements of chance or arbitrary choices are frequently key in those processes. Select pieces from Marcel Duchamp and John Cage characterize this. The most prominent mention of 'pataphysics from this period is in the Beatles's song Maxwell's Silver Hammer. At around this time, the Paris-based Situationist International referred to pataphysics as a new religion.

In his book Faustroll , Alfred Jarry defines pataphysics as "the science of imaginary solutions, which symbolically attributes the properties of objects, described by their virtuality, to their lineaments".

Rube Goldberg and Heath Robinson were artists who contrived machines of a 'pataphysical bent.

The London Institute of 'Pataphysics

The London Institute of 'Pataphysics was established in September 2000 to promote pataphysics. It organised the Anthony Hancock Paintings and Sculptures: A Retrospective Exhibition.

It has six departments:

See also

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Last updated: 05-13-2005 07:56:04