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Articulate Objects

Voice, Sculpture and Performance

Aura Satz and Jon Wood

How do objects ‘speak’ to us? What happens to authorship when voice is projected into inanimate objects? How can one articulate an object into speech? Is the inarticulate body necessarily silent? These are just some of the questions brought up by this unique and unusual collection of essays, which presents subjects and categories often overlooked by the disciplines of art history, visual culture, theatre history and comparative literature.
Drawing from and expanding upon the ‘Performing Objects, Animating Images’ academic session run by the Henry Moore Institute at the Association of Art Historians conference, held in London in 2003, this book presents thirteen essays that bring together a multidisciplinary approach to the animated object. Contributions range from literal accounts of magic lanterns, tableaux vivants, puppets and ventriloquist dummies, to the more abstract notions of voice displacement in audio art and authorship projection in writing machines. The contributors come from diverse backgrounds in art history, cultural history, comparative literature, and artistic, theatrical and curatorial practice, and all tackle the issue of ‘articulate objects’ from a range of lively and unexpected perspectives.
Contents: Aura Satz/Jon Wood: Introduction – Genevieve Warwick: Making Statues Speak: Bernini and Pasquino – Helen Weston: Fables and Follies: Florian’s ‘The Monkey showing the Magic Lantern’ and the Failure of Imitation – Steven Connor: Incidents of the Breath: In Pneumatic and Electric Ventriloquisms – Brian Catling: Arthur Worsley and the Uncanny Valley – Jon Wood: With Hidden Noise: Sculpture, Video and Ventriloquism – Asta Gröting/Stella Rollig: The Inner Voice: Interview – Tim Etchells: The Inner Voice: Dead Air – Edward Allington: From My Cold Dead Hand or Méta-matics: The Removed Gesture and Louise Montalescot’s Painting Machine – Aura Satz: Tableaux Vivants: Inside the Statue – Kenneth Gross: Love Translated: The Little Players –Victoria Nelson: A Postcool Everywoman – Rebecca Duclos: Reconnaissance/Méconnaissance: The Work of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller – Ian Breakwell: Vent Diaries.