Pataphysical Studios is a collective of artists, engineers, teachers and students based in Mill Valley.
We get together every Saturday afternoon to build the Pataphysical Slot Machine, using a variety of materials: wood, clay, paints, LEDs, sound chips, motors — as well as Arduino, the interactive platform which holds it all together.
Our group includes veterans from a wide range of organizations: Apple Computer, Bill Graham Presents, Black Rock Arts, California College of the Arts, Fandor, Industrial Light and Magic, Jim Henson Company, Rex Foundation, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Whole Earth Catalog, Wikimedia Foundation and Wired Magazine.
Meet the Artists at Pataphysical Studios
Here are some of the creative minds behind the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine. They are listed below in the order in which they joined our art studio.
Howard Rheingold (Dr. Rindbrain)
Howard is an independent thinker, online instigator, novice educator, expert learner, offline gardener and artist. He has written a dozen books on the future of technology, taught at Stanford and U.C. Berkeley, and was editor at Wired, Whole Earth Review and for the Millennium Whole Earth Catalog. He is one of the founders of ‘Pataphysical Studios, where he is known as Dr. Rindbrain. Since 2010, he has created a number of art pieces at the studio, such as Other Dimensions, Pay Attention and the Garuda Mojo Accumulators. He is also a lead designer for the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine, the ‘Pataphysical Throne and the Oracle Controller. Howard is graciously hosting our art project in his enchanted backyard, and is now starting work on a new Time Machine. You can follow him as @hrheingold on Twitter, and learn more about him at rheingold.com and on Wikipedia.
Fabrice Florin (Dr. Fabio)
Fabrice is a multimedia innovator who creates unique experiences to inform and engage communities through digital media. He has led the development of many pioneering products and services in news, education and entertainment, working with innovators such as Apple, Macromedia and Wikipedia. He is one of the founders of ‘Pataphysical Studios, where he is known as Dr. Fabio. Since 2010, he has created a number of art pieces at the studio, such as Ask Ubu, the Balinese Cuckoo Clock and the Om Shanti wonderboxes. He is also a lead designer for the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine, the ‘Pataphysical Throne, the Oracle Controller and the Wonderbox interactive system. Fabrice managed the first public exhibit of the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine at the Mill Valley Library and is starting a new project called Théatre Mécanique. You can follow him as @fabriceflorin on Twitter, and learn more about him at fabriceflorin.com .
Freddy Hahne (Dr. Really?)
Freddy encountered the Bus “Further” with the Intrepid Traveler and His Band of Merry Pranksters at the ripe young age of 14 which providing mentoring beyond the Our Gang Comedies. After earning a bachelor of science in Industrial Design, Freddy became involved in a myriad of art projects establishing the Art Police creating large works of kinetic art for the Grateful Dead’s Mardi Gras, Chinese New Years and New Years concerts, to large Theme Camps for Burning Man. He is past president and current board member for the Rex Foundation, created by the Grateful Dead, and board president of Burning Man’s Black Rock Arts Foundation. Freddy has supported his art habit representing Waller Press and now Watermark Press, an RR Donnelley Company. He is one of the founders of ‘Pataphysical Studios, where he is known as Dr. Really? Since 2010, he has created a number of art pieces at the studio, such as Ubu Roi Stage, Red Devil and Holy Crap. He is also a lead designer for the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine, the ‘Pataphysical Throne, the Wonderbox design and our ‘question mark’ logo. You can learn more about him at arewereally.com .
Stephanie participates in a multitude of activities: over the past three years she has assisted the sculptor, Peter Hudson, on several of his large zoetropes for Burning Man, and for his public art installations. In her private studio at home, her artwork includes multimedia pieces; jewelry, Huichol-inpsired beaded sculptures, mosaics, leather work, fabric, and painting. She spends several hours each week doing cognitive stimulation therapy with a 90 year old Alzheimer’s patient from Ecuador. Even with his weak recall abilities, she learns as much from him as anyone else! Once a year, she goes for a tune-up on the Black Rock Desert at Burning Man, where she finds more artistic stimulation than could manifest in four lifetimes! Since 2011, she has created a number of art pieces for the Slot Machine: the Huichol-style beading on the throne helmet, as well as four wonderboxes: Eros, Luck, Bamboodus and Baby Buddha. She also created the colorful lab coats with Pataphysical symbols, which are used as our regalia in conjunction with the unique and beautiful paper hats created by Dr Judy (Rheingold). She is currently working on personalized medals for each member of our group. You can learn more about her on Facebook .
Donald has collaborated on a wide range of art and technology projects, from the League of Automatic Music Composers (1981) to Undercurrent at Lake Merritt (2015). Brightly colored flying objects are often involved. He has taught at CCA since 1976 in Interdisci-plinary, Craft, Film, Video, Performance and Interaction Design programs. Since 2011, he has coached our art collective on how to add luminosity, motion and interactivtion to our work, teaching us the basics of electronics, son et lumiere, programming, and systems design, often using Arduino. He is a lead designer for the Wonderbox Interactive System, the Oracle Controller and Sound Server, among his many contributions. He is on Facebook under his real name, and on the venerable Well as ddigor.
Marshall has been involved in a wide range of art and literary projects, many of which have been displayed at Burning Man. Since 2011, he has created a number of art pieces at the studio, such as the HaHa! box and Ubu’s Gidouille. Along with his wife Priscilla he also is one our resident experts on ‘Pataphysics and Alfred Jarry.
Tim has been involved in a wide range of technology projects throughout his career. He is Director of IT/Operations and Streaming at Fandor and consults for a number of clients, such as the US Fish and Wildlife / Farallon Islands for their Internet connection. He has coached our art collective on how to use electronics to add interactivity to our work, focusing on the Raspberry Pi platform. His wonderbox for the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine is called the Video Lounge. He is also a lead designer for the Wonderbox Interactive System and the Sound Server, among his many contributions. You can learn more about him on Facebook.
Janey, former vice-chair of the Mill Valley Art Commission, is an artist who works part time as a user experience design engineer at Rocket Software. She has been employed as a software engineer and designer in high tech since the early days of giant computers and large oil companies. After moving to the bay area in 1981 her clients included George Lucas Educational Foundation, Apple Computer, Stanford University, the Grateful Dead … www.poppystudios.com
The ocean and life in and around it have long been one of her favorite painting subjects. She has oil paintings in five art shows this fall. www.janeynow.com She created her wonderbox, Yellow Submarine, after a six month stint in Hawaii where her favorite place to be was underwater out beyond the reef at Hanauma Bay.
Mark has an extensive background in the theater, music and circus, as well as interactive media and user-generated content. He created the first official websites for Burning Man, the Residents and other San Francisco-based arts groups. He’s worked as user experience designer and consultant for many organizations, including Ameritech, Apple Computer, Electric Minds, Ariba, the U.N.’s World Heritage Organization, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the California Endowment, TechTV & The Disney Corporation. At ‘Pataphysical Studios, he is known as Dr. Zbooon. His wonderbox for the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine is called Knobbo. A longtime creative director, he also guides our interactive storytelling experiments and theatrical presentations. You can learn more about him at Party Science and TeleCircus.
Justin is known as one the first bloggers, and has been sharing his personal life online for over twenty years. Since 1994, his personal web site Justin’s Links from the Underground has documented family secrets, romantic relationships, and a wide range of experiments. He has produced a documentary about his experience, called overshare: the links.net story. At ‘Pataphysical Studios, he is known as Dr. Sane. His wonderbox for the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine is called the Metaphysical Plot Device. You can learn more about him at links.net .
Ilyse is an experience-maker and a renegade researcher, merging the practical with the celebratory. Through subversive play, she invites others into active and critical investi-gation of the civic and social systems that they use and are used by. Her wonderbox for the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine is called Stanza. You can learn more about her at ilyseirismagy.com .
As an artist and a writer, Phyllis has contributed to a wide range of creative projects: her essays have appeared in More Magazine and the San Francisco Chronicle, and most recently in the anthology, Fried Walleye and Cherry Pie. She also designs book covers and custom greeting cards, and she edited multimedia games for Apple Computer and other digital media innovators. Her wonderbox for the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine is called Time Flies. You can learn more about her at phyllisflorin.com .
Jean has worked for the last 28 years at George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic as a digital painter and also as a member of the model shop. Previously she worked in London for film and television workshops including the Jim Henson Company. With her daughter Natalie, she has created a wonderbox called X-Ray Skull. She also designed all the small figurines which adorn the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine.
Natalina is a gifted artist and the most junior member of our team. At the age of 12, she has already created hundreds of works of art: her ornamental ducks are sold at Sienna Rose, a shop in Mill Valley. All proceeds go to support The Marin Humane Society for which she has raised over $4,000. This is why she is nicknamed ‘Dr. Canard’ at ‘Pataphysical Studios. With her mother Jean, she has created a wonderbox called X-Ray Skull. She also wrote a lovely poem which describes why she keeps coming back to the ‘Pataphysical Studios every week. You can learn more about Natalie on her website, natalina.org.
Along with a long career in health care, Priscilla has been involved in many creative projects over the years, including The Mind Shaft Society and Bliss Dance, a 40-foot sculpture by Marco Cochrane, first shown at Burning Man. On the playa and at ‘Pataphysical Studios, she is known as the Queen of the Desert. She is our resident expert on the history of ‘Pataphysics and, along with her husband Marshall Smith, will share what she’s learned in an art lecture on October 15 at the Mill Valley Library’s downstairs conference room.
As a professional artist, Vickisa exhibits widely and is a member of Gallery Route One (GRO) in Point Reyes Station, where she shows her work and promotes GRO’s art shows and events. She uses many media, including acrylics, watercolor on silk, gold leaf and collage. Vickisa makes unique handmade accordion books, featuring drawings, descriptions and collage of events that are often of a musical nature. Her wonderbox for the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine is called Mother of Yes. You can learn more about her at vickisa.com .
IB Anom Suryawan is the balinese mask-maker who created the Garuda eagle god and temple for the Bali Cuckoo Clock. Known internationally as a mask maker, he also performs as a dancer and actor in sacred rituals for his community in Bali. You can learn more about this talented artist at balimaskmaking.com.
We wish to offer our heartfelt thanks to all our contributors and supporters, who worked so generously behind the scenes to help make this project possible. Merci!
• Robin Day
• Dana Dworin
• Carl Frederick
• Kathy Lassen-Hahne
• Judy Maas Rheingold
We would also like to acknowledge the folks who helped us with the audio-visual presentations at the Mill Valley library:
• Ian Day
• Wes Dorman
• Michael Fasman
• Adam Florin
• Christian Hernandez
• John Mabey
And we are deeply grateful as well to the Mill Valley Library team for all they have done to share our work with their community!
• Anji Brenner
• Kristen Clark
• Jay Hamilton-Roth
• Toni Souza
• Frank Walther
• Kathy Wilhem