Video: Pataphysics’ Cubicle Daydream

Clip employs Reggie Watts and rising director Ambar Navarro

In the video for Pataphysics’ hyper new single “Computer Chair,” a disenchanted office worker wreaks havoc in corporate cubicles. Former Comedy Bang! Bang! bandleader Reggie Watts also makes an early appearance. Before any of the Eighties-styled visualizations came to be, Austinite Patrick Healy took inspiration from outside the office.

Office Chair Ballet: Andrea Feyler brings life to Patrick Healy’s lawn furniture, as reinterpreted by director Ambar Navarro (Photo by Max Flick)

The longtime local artist found a computer chair in his front lawn while living at a now-condemned abode on Avenue G.

“I ignored [the chair] and just wanted to see what happened, like a science experiment,” elaborates Healy, who plays alongside Patrick Edwards, Jason “Chef” Pittman, and Kevin Pope. “Stuff started growing on it. I thought, ‘What if this was the internet? What if this chair could take us into the universe of unknown things, like artificial intelligence?’”

Pataphysics, now an almost 20-year-old endeavor, took a break from its own agenda to back up New Wave legend Gary Wilson internationally in 2014. Last LP output My Phone’s About to Die followed closely the next year. During our chat, mention of the album title made me think Healy needed to end our call.

The new, synth-accented track originates on an upcoming release by the same name. Computer Chair is due April 20 on First Humans Records, an imprint founded by Big Bill frontman Eric Braden.

The jaunty Eighties revivalists captured 10 short songs using improvisational techniques with producer Paul Millar, who now tours with Ariel Pink. Retro/cyber “Computer Chair” then passed to rising indie director Ambar Navarro. Since moving to California, the Texas native has made a name envisioning vids for the likes of Cuco and Soccer Mommy.

Navarro knew a perfect performer to embody the song’s peppy chorus, “I’m swiveling around in my computer chair.” During the clip shot in Los Angeles, established dancer Andrea Feyler spins and prances elegantly atop office equipment. Healy identifies with the video’s boredom-induced daydream of ravaging filing cabinets and copy machines.

“[‘Computer Chair’] is about how codified and rigid systems are,” says the guitarist. “We’re doing everything we can to make things novel, despite the fact that there’s this clinical atmosphere. That was the spirit of the song.”

Pataphysics unveils its new work on April 20 at the Electric Church during Daniel Francis Doyle & the Dreams’ monthlong residency, assisted by Being Dead and UtinUtin. Catch the cheery quartet in-store at End of an Ear on May 5 at 4pm.

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Pataphysics, Patrick Healy, Patrick Edwards, Ambar Navarro, Andrea Feyler, Jason Pittman, Kevin Pope, Gary Wilson, First Humans Records, Big Bill, Eric Braden, Daniel Francis Doyle & the Dreams, UtinUtin, End of an Ear

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