Philadelphia à la Pataphysique
 March 2014 
University of Pennsylvania | Slought Foundation | Kelly Writers House at Penn | International House |
 The Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books, and Manuscripts at Penn
Philadelphia à la Pataphysique will explore 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. The festival will include a 2-day academic conference, "Pataphysics Then & Now"; an exhibition at Slought Foundation, featuring works by James E. Brewton; an exhibition of Jarry-related highlights from the rare book and art collection of Linda Klieger Stillman at the Kislak Center; two film screenings at International House; and a Pataphysical Arts Night at the Kelly Writers House.
List of Events
Tuesday, March 18 
Screening of Zazie dans Le Metro | International House, 3701 Chestnut St. | 7:00pm
Thursday, March 20 
Pataphysical Arts Night | Kelly Writers House, 3805 Locust Walk | 6:00pm-8:00pm
***Please RSVP by writing to
            A celebration of contemporary artists whose works engage pataphysical themes. Featuring special
            musical performances by DJ Spooky (Paul D. Miller), who will perform "Imaginary Numbers," and
            Andrew Hugill, who will perform from his online opera The Imaginary Voyage; poetry readings by
            Craig Dworkin, Judith Goldman, and Michelle Taransky; and a Christopher Vandegrift film. 
Friday, March 21(full schedule below)
Pataphysics Then & Now Conference.1 | Slought, 4017 Walnut St. | 4:00-7:30pm 
            Including: Exhibition Opening & Reception 
            Graffiti Pataphysic, For All Mankind, a selection of paintings, prints, and drawings by
            James E. Brewton (1930-1967), a Philadelphia-based artist whose work often employed
            pataphysical themes and images.
            Patarchitecture, an exhibition of retreat spaces by architectural students, inspired by the work of
            Alfred Jarry. What would be your ideal tripode? What would be your ideal place to think and write? 
            The exhibition will also include selected films from the private collection of Linda Klieger Stillman. 
Saturday, March 22 (full schedule below) 
Pataphysics Then & Now Conference.2 | The Kislak Center, 3420 Walnut St., Sixth Floor | 10:30-7:30pm
            Including: Exhibition & Reception 
            Exhibition: Selected rare books, prints, and ephemera from Linda Klieger Stillman's private
            collection of works by and related to Alfred Jarry will be on view in the Lea Library. The
            exhibition will be open throughout the day.  
Thursday, March 27 
Screening of Ubu Roi | International House, 3701 Chestnut St. | 7:00pm
Saturday, March 29
Pataphysical Shorts | International House, 3701 Chestnut St. | 2:00pm
            Including: William Kentridge's Ubu Tells the Truth, courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery, NY  
Conference Schedule for Pataphysics Then & Now
A conference presented as part of Philadelphia à la Pataphysique
March 21-22, 2014 | Philadelphia, PA

Friday, March 21st | Slought Foundation | 4017 Walnut St.


4:00-4:30 — Welcoming Panel: Pataphysics in Philadelphia 

Jean-Michel Rabaté, Opening Remarks

Aaron Levy, “Slought’s Pataphysical Exhibitions”

Mari Shaw, “Philadelphia Pataphysicians: Chimes, Duchamp, Rhoades"


4:30-6:00 — Panel: Pataphysics & the Arts  

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


6:00-7:30 Opening Reception & Exhibition  


Saturday, March 22nd | Van Pelt Library, 6th Floor | 3420 Walnut St.


10:30-10:45 — Welcome by David McKnight


10:45-12:15 — Panel: Jarry: History, Philosophy, Aesthetics

               Jean-Michel Rabaté, "Pataphallics: Jarry's Novels and Ithyphallicism"

               Line McMurray, “The Rhizomorhododendron: An Ecopsychological Portrait of Alfred Jarry”

               Linda Klieger Stillman, “Robotics and Tyrants: Jarry, Miró, Kentridge”

               Moderated by Gerald Prince


12:15-2:00 — Lunch Break 


2:00-3:30 — Panel: Pataphysics & Poetry

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


3:30-4:00 — Coffee Break


4:00-5:30 — Panel: Conclusion & Keynote Address     

John Heon, “Pataphysics at Penn: Syzygy and Synergy”

Keynote Address: Andrew Hugill, “Pataphysics and Computing”


5:30-7:30 — Closing Reception

Philadelphia à la Pataphysique is generously supported by 
the Provost Interdisciplinary Arts Fund,
the School of Arts & Sciences,
the Kelly Writers House Seth Ginns International Fund,
the Kelly Writers House Scott Bok Visiting Writers Fund,
the Cinema Studies Department,
the English Department,
 the Penn Humanities Forum,
& the Poetry & Poetics Graduate Group.

"Jupiter" 2012 by Charles Christopher Hill, reflected in "Faustroll (Hermes)" 1988 by Thomas Chimes. Collection of Linda and Robert Stillman.