Puppet Conference explores the psychological relationship between audience and puppets

As an audience, there are certain assumptions and conventions that come into play when we view a movie, a play, and to an even greater extent – a puppet show.  Audiences are complicit in accepting a metaphorical barrier of engagement that sits between themselves and the performers.  For Pia Banzhaf, how audiences understand and view puppetry performance is deep stuff.  Pia will be presenting How does it Work? The Cognition behind the Animacy Perception in Puppetry, a 90-minute talk at our upcoming Puppet Power Conference 2018 in June. Recently completing her PhD project Towards a Cognitive Poetics of Puppetry, Pia explores how findings from cognitive psychology can help us understand the processes involved in the ascription of agency and animacy in moving objects, puppets.

Pia received her doctoral degree in Cultural Studies from Queen’s University, Kingston, and has been exploring puppetry arts from a theoretical perspective with practical examples.  Pia will make special emphasis on the cognitive psychology of animacy perception and lead us to question and reject Coleridge’s phrases “leap of poetic faith” and the “suspension of disbelief” as a prerequisite for accepting a puppet’s animacy.  In this talk, we will see how insights from cognitive psychology can help us develop a critical vocabulary and add to our understanding of the processes that are activated in the spectator and what the role the puppeteer ultimately plays.

Puppet Power 2018: Story is a Conference on Applied Puppetry, June 1-3, 2018, in Calgary, AB, Canada.  Explore the transformative power that puppetry has to tell stories, inspire dialogue and make meaning of our world today!  Offering world-class professional development, Puppet Power 2018 features award-winning local and international presenters and master puppeteers, sharing their stories and skills in an educational, engaging and fun environment through hands-on workshops, talks, panels, and special networking events.

Find out more about the conference or register at the early bird rate by March 31st!