As a practical puppet studio methodology, it is tempting to follow suit with other artists and deploy performance and puppet theatre. I'm fatigued, however, with the current fashion for performance in all disciplines (although I am also guilty of fertilising that particular garden). Performance is the most elementary manner of delineating puppets from their close relatives (dolls, mannequins), and, in the words of Peter Arnott, ‘puppetry is fatally easy’.19 But, again, this is not a puppet theatre project, and so the puppets will not perform. They will work (semi-)autonomously in the private cloister of the studio and only be seen through the artworks they produce. Autonomy works for puppets. An autonomous doll signals horror and triggers revulsion. Puppets, however, can function more or less on their own. Tzachi Zamir describes this rudiment of puppets:
Puppets exhibit fragments of action that are dissociated from a center or some whole to which they refer or are causally connected to. My point in saying this is not to link puppetry with various rejections of the subject but to highlight puppetry’s exhibition of the freedom of partial manifestation, its capacity to develop and dissociate itself from an internal author, touching in us the unease that accompanies the perception of the growing autonomy of one’s role or roles, the capacity of a role to become autonomous and to even usurp the self by determining its identity as this or that.20
I have taken advantage of puppets' (semi-)autonomy and the ability of the artist-engine to be easily estranged from the puppet-body to defer control and hierarchy in the life drawing exchange. I am confident that puppets will re-invest the life studio with delirium and disrupt the sturdy contrivances of artists and models.