A ‘Pataphysical Poem


Docteur Canard, our youngest pataphysicist, is now a regular contributor to our art club, where she is creating an interactive skull with X-ray vision. As a gift for for Docteur Fabio’s 60th birthday, she wrote this poem about why she keeps coming back. We’re so glad she’s part of our society, and thank her for inspiring us with her fresh perspective on our madcap adventure.


The Pataphysical Slot Machine

As you enter, gods and demons stare down at you.

Pataphysicists are the makers of dreams, and the future rests in their hands.

Golden question marks show the end of the unknown question.

Purple coats flash past.

The  Pataphysical Slot Machine is a place of art, laughter and imagination.

Singing flowers, the Devil, a skull with flashing eyes, the hand with the All Seeing Eye.

Always in the process, never done.

Pearl and Lulu.

Two yipping, barking explosions of joy and energy, both worth twice as much as 1,000 pearls.


You can be anything you want to be, do anything you want to do, nothing is impossible here.

What do you want to know? UBU can see your future, and he will tell you.

Hidden away, a small miracle in the vast and troubled earth, a place of gods.

This is Really and Truly the most Fabulous place in the world, where Figurines come alive and Canards call from every corner. A place filled with Pizzazz, where the Day never ends, and Tout d’ Suite the Rind of your Brain is being Flashed with ideas you once thought impossible.

The science and art of imaginary solutions.


Written for Dr. Fabio by Dr. Canard


Why, thank you kindly, Dr. Canard! We too enjoy our time together in this ‘place of gods’. We look forward to many more creative explorations with you :) 

The Pataphysical Slot Machine

Behold The Pataphysical Slot Machine, our community-created poetic oracle.

Seekers are invited to get “instructions from the future” from our guide Ubu, then open a “wonderbox” for more inspiration. This project is inspired by Alfred Jarry, founder of ‘Pataphysics, the “science of imaginary solutions.”

Here’s a short video of the Pataphysical Slot Machine in action.

We’re creating this collaborative art project as a labor of love, with pals Howard Rheingold (@hrheingold), Freddy Hahne (@arewereally), Stephanie LeveneDonald DayTim Pozar and other pataphysicians. Meet our crew in this ‘day in the life’ video.

We get together every Saturday afternoon to build the Pataphysical Slot Machine, using a variety of materials: wood, clay, paints, LEDs, sound chips, motors — and Arduino, the interactive platform which holds it all together. See our interactive specs.

We’re often joined by friends and family, who are helping make more wonderboxes for this free knowledge accumulator. New practitioners are welcome: all that’s needed is a shared vision, some art or electronics experience, and a commitment to get things done in our lifetime. Pataphysics is the art of not taking yourself too seriously … :)

Collaborative art is a wonderful thing. Find out for yourself on our Flickr photo-stream.

P.S.: We’re looking for an art venue for our poetic oracle in the Bay Area this fall. Please contact us if you have any leads.

Video, photos and narration by Fabrice Florin. Recorded at the Rheingold Room in Mill Valley, California, in February 2014. Music by Erik Satie and others.