Wellcome Collection, 16th June, 10.30-1700
As humans, we have an ability to empathise with one another. Reading emotions and sharing them are integral to our survival and social cohesion. But why is it that objects can also spark these feelings in us? When we watch puppets, what triggers our emotions? Is it their movement or is it simply the stories they tell? And can we be just as moved by everyday objects?
None of these questions have straightforward answers, but in this unique event we’ll uncover the latest science exploring the mysteries of empathy in puppetry and elsewhere in culture.
The morning will start with an extract of Blind Summit’s critically acclaimed performance The Table, followed by discussion about the relationship between puppeteers and puppets. Satellite performances will happen over lunch, followed by a discussion about the ways we relate to objects in the afternoon.
Consortium Director Steve Connor, author of Paraphernalia: The Curious Lives of Magical Things (London: Profile, 2011), will give a talk at this event entitled Feeling Things. Mistrusting our conventional mistrust of the attachment to material things, it will consider some of the emotions that objects help or even teach us to feel – disgust, curiosity, and tenderness. Perhaps, without objects, we would never learn how to love, or love to learn.
£20 full price/£15 concession including a full day of discussion and performance as well as lunch and refreshments.
To book, please call 020 7611 2222.