What means “Pataphysique”?

 Pataphysics: that which is above, over, beyond, past, and remaining after metaphysics. Physique: body, corpus, entity. It is a denotation for an avatar: a body that is beyond metaphysics. I probably think too much about screen names, but they fascinated me since I first saw my brother using one. Even as a child, I thought the idea of adopting a name for a particular setting was odd and appealing. As I spent more time thinking about the metaphysical relationship we have with the digital world, I decided that if metaphysics predated the internet, either we needed a new term to describe the metaphysics of the digital world or cyberspace was some kind of quasi-conceivable manifestation of metaphysics. I preferred the former, and (at around the same time) encountered the term “pataphysics.” It seemed to fit because, in my mind, it touched on the important points of thinking about digital space: layers of being, layers of thought, abstractions upon abstractions, connection over (surreal, maybe impossible) distance, and maybe something of the subjective could be fit in there somewhere. It seemed to be loosely structured, ill-defined, and yet somehow ethereal and mystically real. In some way, ‘pataphysics might well be the study of the metaphysics of the internet (for me). My name, then, is the description of a body existing in that space beyond and remaining after metaphysics. It is a being without space; the unextended object, existing nowhere and anywhere, subject to thought and symbol more than geography or time.


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