“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; or, less ambitiously, will describe a universe which can be – and perhaps should be – envisaged in the place of the traditional one.” -Alfred Jarry
We believe that we understand many things. But when the layers are peeled away, when we examine the component parts that make up our incredibly complex universe, it is fair to say that we understand a mere fraction of what exists around us. Whether we consider installer distances or the air right under our noses, there are so many processes and realities that constantly escape our notice and comprehension as to form a universe in themselves. Perhaps universe upon universe.
Mari Shaw spoke to us in July from her home in Philadelphia. The last time we connected with her was several years ago. In the intervening time, Shaw reports she has lived a very pataphysics based life. This discipline was part of our previous discussion when we dove into her book about Tom Chimes (for more information see the reading section below). Shaw’s understanding of pataphysics has changed over the years and she reports that she’s gone even deeper in, experiencing this on every level of her own experience. Notoriously difficult to truly define, Shaw says that the era of COVID is a perfect time to put this elusive practice into action. To hear more about pataphysics, listen to the complete interview.
Duane Michals also joined us for a repeat conversation. Since the start of the pandemic, Michals has been distributing small books via email and has remained tremendously active. A well known and innovative photographer, Michals began publishing these short narratives, a timeline previously unheard of. A traditional exhibit would take around six weeks to put together while these stories appear each week. Michals, who is almost 90, has been deeply gratified by the project. To hear more about Michals remarkable life and career, listen to the complete interview.
A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:
Seek always, but accept that there is much that you will never find. Herein lies tremendous beauty.
Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.
Books to Read
What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. As previously mentioned, those interested in learning more about pataphysics might want to read Painter and Pataphysician Thomas Chimes by Mari Shaw. Among the many things Duane Michals was reading when we spoke were the works of William Shakespeare as well as the writings of world-renowned literary critic Harold Bloom.
NVAIR (Ukraine), KAIR Košice Artist in residence (Slovakia) and Schafhof -European Center for Art Upper Bavaria — invite DIGITAL artists from Ukraine, Slovakia, Upper Bavaria (Germany), as well as artists from Asia, Australia, South and North America to take part in a two-month online residency program. For complete details, visit the website. Deadline for applications is December 24.
Brainard Carey is an author, artist and educator. He is the director of Praxis for Aesthetics. He has written six books for artists; Making it in the Art World, New Markets for Artists, The Art World Demystified, Fund Your Dreams Like a Creative Genius, Sell Online Like a Creative Genius, and Succeed with Social Media Like a Creative Genius. His book, Making it in the Art World, is available now with bonus content here.