Antoine Vollon, "Mound of Butter," 1875–85
These are special, these effects. As I pass through the magicked mirror and out another side, become light, my doppelgänger sees what I don’t: how CGI ants swollen on honeydew feed their imagined queen; pools of code where cellular automata swim, breed. Presence, here, is an artifact shaped by attention paid elsewhere. I gaze, touching metal not wood, as the shining simulacrum places silver coins on my eyes, the better to see something that’s not quite me with.