The thick pamphlets of the ‘Knowledge Society’ had accustomed me to believe that animals were not capable of speech. Ever since I was a child folktales had assured me of the opposite. Naturally, I had agreed with the pamphlets, because I’d never seen any talking animals, not once. Not even parrots. I had known one parrot who could growl like a tiger, but he couldn’t talk like a human being. And now I had the pike, the cat Vasily and even a mirror. But then inanimate objects talked all the time. That was an idea that could never have occurred to my great-granddad, for instance. From his point of view, a talking cat would be nowhere near as fantastic as a shiny wooden box that wheezes, howls, plays music and speaks all kinds of languages.
RESEARCHERS AND WORKS IN THIS INSTITUTE
1 Bergen Assembly Reading Room
2 Jan Peter Hammer, Tilikum, 2013. HD video, color, sound, approx. 50 minutes. Commissioned by Bergen Assembly 2013.