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How to Think a Puppet

Trimingham, Melissa (2011) How to Think a Puppet. Forum Modernes Theater, 26 . ISSN 0930-5874. (KAR id:31637)

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There is a growing awareness of the relevance of cognitive neuroscience to performance studies, but little attention has been paid to puppetry in this context. In an attempt to open up the field of puppetry to McConachie’s’cognitive turn’, a cognitive approach is here taken to Blind Summit’s ‘The Table’. The solo puppet protagonist Moses is described here as a ‘brain on legs’, a lively, funny and poignant figure who hovers on the brink of epic greatness but remains forever fixed to his table top. ‘The Table’ is analysed from three angles : firstly the use of environmental ‘affordances’ in James Gibson’s sense ; secondly kinesthetic empathy as described by Antonio Damasio, Shaun Gallagher et alia ; and thirdly,intimately linked to both, emotion. It is by virtue of Moses’s limitations that we are able to glimpse our own potential as human beings, richly embedded as we (and his operators) are in a world of limitless ‘affordances’ or ‘opportunities for action’ in James Gibson’s sense ; and able to grow cognitively and emotionally through our contact with others.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled keywords: Puppetry, cognition, affordances, Blind Summit
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The theatre
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Divisions: Faculties > Humanities > School of Arts > Drama and Theatre
Depositing User: Melissa Trimingham
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2012 12:10 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 09:35 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Trimingham, Melissa:
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