Research Marionette

May 28, 2011 By arne hendriks 1

If we’re ever going to be convinced that shrinking the body is a serious option we must first project ourselves into that situation. With the help of Gitta Lichthart we developed 3 research marionettes aimed at doing just that. When one of those 50 centimeter puppets looks up at you it is impossible not to experience some sort of emotional reaction, and thus a first fragment of understanding of what it would be like to actually meet The Incredible Shrinking Man. At the same time it teaches us little of what it would be like to be that small yourself. That’s why we invited puppeteer Marlyn Coetsier to investigate this. The unique talent of the puppeteer is not just the ability to bring inanimate limbs to life. More than anything else it is the ability to enter the mind of the puppet, to feel its emotions, to experience what it experiences, and to share this knowledge with the public.

Puppets or dolls, by nature, allow us to project ourselves into an imagined world. They empower us to play an imagined reality. And play, as Johan Huizinga explains in his book Homo Ludens, is the foundation of all culture. If we are to change our culture as drastically as we propose in The Incredible Shrinking Man, perhaps we must play ourselves towards this change.