I or Possibly You


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“If I am not for myself, who will be for me?
But if I am only for myself, who am I?
If not now, when?” –Rabbi Hillel

The metaphor here is a heavy equipment machine as a body. It’s about consciousness, but it’s about self and other as well. In this picture from inside one machine we–actually I or possibly you– watch two other machines go about their business.

We assume that those other machines sensed from the outside are similar to the one we are feeling from the inside; similar enough to project an entity similar to us into each the other machines. But we can’t know for sure.

I can’t even say “I feel” honestly because I feel that the “I” as a known thing that feels is more a part of a sentence than of a being. And on top of that I doubt my feelings and sensations as much as I doubt the feeling, sensing “I.” I can only know that there are feelings and sensations. They are real, but the “I” seems just a convention of language when I really think about it. Sorry about that, René.

Back to the picture; the machine “we” (you, the visitors and me, the artist) are inside of lurches on even with the controls somewhat disconnected. And the projected entity is, as logically follows, as much a passenger as the feeling sensing one. It’s a good guess but not one that can be verified that each machine could be running itself with feelings and sensations all felt and sensed by yet another fictional “I” or possibly “you.”

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