As long as a man is affected by the image of anything, he regards the thing as present, although it may not exist, nor will he regard it as past or future save in so far as its image is connected with the image of time past or future … And so the emotion of pleasure or pain is the same whether the image of the thing be present, past, or future.
— Spinoza’s Ethics, Part III, Proposition XVIII, Proof
Colin and I have deeply questioned the role of the audience in Because We Care. We have based much of our decision-making on the assumption that the audience cares, that they are willing to work, and that they are smart and curious. We see our role as providing the space for their imaginations to be stimulated, rather than making a work in which we provide the questions and the answers. In other words, we have resisted being didactic, and this is a mark of respect for contemporary performance audiences.
Spinoza’s writing on time and image suggests that when we (as humans) are drawn to an image it becomes our present. We draw our past experiences, our future desires into the present.
Because We Care is (amongst other things) a spur to the imagination.