‘Miniature Pataphysical Laboratory’ by Neil Spiller

Miniature Pataphysical Laboratory by Neil Spiller | 2004

The Dee Trunks is a symbolic response to the fact that Doctor Dee, Elizabethan alchemist, spy, and confidant, and conversationalist of Angels and Demons, used to put his most valued texts in a trunk and hide them away. Special things in special dark places. Dee was a natural philosopher, a magician, and as such was interested in the microcosm as a reflection of the macrocosm of the universe.

Inside Doctor Dee's Trunks (Miniature Pataphysical Laboratory), Perspective, 2004
Inside Doctor Dee’s Trunks (Miniature Pataphysical Laboratory), Perspective, 2004

The universe to Dee was characterised by ascalar geometry and divided by a series of almost infinite cyclic distillations. Even the lowliest material was the noblest, this prima materia, the elusive Slough of Despond that is everywhere but nowhere. Many alchemists have tried to find this material, the alchemic quest is stillborn unless the Slough can be found and transmuted. To the architect-alchemist the Slough is space. My Trunks are sited on the banks of the river Stour between the villages of Sturry and Fordwich, near Canterbury in Kent, UK – I grew up around this are. For the alchemists, the alchemic opus needs to be personal and be imbued with an autobiographical psychogeography.

Boxing Topographies, Dee Stools, Exterior Perspective, 2004
Boxing Topographies, Dee Stools, Exterior Perspective, 2004

These stools are miniature alchemic/pataphysical laboratories, each one of six, just three buttocks square. The alchemist has had many disguises in the last one-hundred-and-fifty years; he has been assimilated into the genealogy of modernism in the guise of the pataphysicist.


source/credits: neilspiller.com