Unveiling the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine at the Mill Valley Library


Last month, we unveiled our ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine exhibit at the Mill Valley Library, and we hosted a range of events and workshops about art and technology, described below.

The ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine Exhibit

The ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine is a community-created poetic oracle that invites you to face mysterious ‘cabinets of curiosity,’ ask about your future and get words of wisdom. Open one of twenty “wonderboxes” for more inspiration: each box is a portal to another world, sparkling with lights, plays sounds, or spins surreal objects. This collaborative art project inspired by the maker culture, combinatorial poetics — and ‘Pataphysics, the “science of imaginary solutions.”


Hundreds of visitors came to see this fun and educational combination of art and technology. They seemed to really enjoy this magical experience — and their faces tell the whole story in this photo album! We were on hand to demo the exhibit and share what we learned building it.

Here’s just some of the feedback we’ve received from our guests:
“Very magical! See your future in lights!”
“Mesmerizing and inspiring.”
“This was the coolest thing ever.”
“This is enlightening — as in ‘lighten up’ … What fun!”
“Thank you Ubu! Thank you pataphysicians!”

Based on all this positive feedback, we are now looking for a new home for the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine, where it could be available to the public on a long-term basis. If you know a local venue that you think would be interested in hosting us in 2016, please email us at info@pataphysics.us .

We also hosted some fun educational programs this month, to complement the art exhibit. Check out the photos and videos of these uplifting events.


Unveiling the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine

The ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine was unveiled at the Mill Valley Library’s popular First Friday event on October 2: it was a full house, attended by hundreds of local community members, friends and neighbors. Our team at ‘Pataphysical Studios gave what a friend called “the father of all demos”, including a project history, live interactions and artist stories — and a bit of theater. We all had a blast and the audience seemed completely engaged: thanks to all of you who joined us for this memorable occasion! Check out this photo album, as well as this first video of the full 90 minute presentation, with unedited footage from just one of our video cameras (other camera angles can be found here).


Pataphysics and the Real Alfred Jarry

On October 15, we hosted an art lecture and group discussion on french poet Alfred Jarry, the founder of ‘Pataphysics — the art movement that inspired surrealism and dadaism. Check out the photo album and this first video.

Wonderbox-Workshop-Favorite-Large-Photo - 6

Create Your Own Art Wonderbox Workshop

On October 17, we hosted this 2-hour workshop, to show kids ages 8-12 (and their parents) how to make their own art ‘wonderbox’ — using simple electronics to bring characters to life with sound, lights and motion. Check out this video and our photo album, as well as these workshop instructions.


Arduino 101 Workshop

On October 24, we hosted this 3-hour workshop, to show adults and teens how to build simple interactive systems with the popular Arduino platform. They learned to make lights blink, motors move, and sounds play. Check out the photo album for this workshop, as well as this online guide.

These free events all took place at the Mill Valley Public Library:
375 Throckmorton Ave.
Mill Valley CA 94941
415-389-4292 ext. 3

This unique art project was created by ‘Pataphysical Studios, a collective of artists, engineers, teachers and students based in Mill Valley. Our group includes veterans from a wide range of organizations: Apple Computer, Bill Graham Presents, Black Rock Arts, California College of the Arts, Industrial Light and Magic, Jim Henson Company, Rex Foundation, Stanford University, UC Berkeley, Whole Earth Catalog, Wikimedia Foundation and Wired Magazine.

Learn more about ‘Pataphysical Studios in this wonderful article from the Marin Independent Journal. Journalist Paul Liberatore wrote a great story about our art collective: it captures our vision for this project, and the passion we share for making art together.

For more project updates, we invite you to subscribe to our mailing list — and follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Learn more at pataphysics.us.

Thanks to all of you who came to visit and support our work!

Fabrice Florin (a.k.a. Dr. Fabio)
Howard Rheingold (a.k.a. Dr. Rindbrain)
Freddy Hahne (a.k.a. Dr. Really)
and the ‘Pataphysical Studios crew


This page was updated to include descriptions of all events after they were hosted, along with links to their photo albums and first videos.

2 thoughts on “Unveiling the ‘Pataphysical Slot Machine at the Mill Valley Library

  1. Pingback: The Pataphysical Slot Machine | Fabrice Florin

  2. lystudio slot

    I have been to this exhibit, this is really amazing. It shows many magical and imaginable new design and arts of slot machine. Think slot machine players should love to read about this.

Comments are closed.