I am sitting in the front row of the airplane close to a small television monitor. A looped slideshow of similar clips rotates on the screen, changing with a pleasant transition every fifteen seconds or so. I am thinking of my long flight from San Francisco to Paris with a stop at O’Hare airport in Chicago. The video makes me feel happier about my trip. I cannot escape what is waiting for me: a beautiful beach with never-before-seen palm trees and an enormous forest. I totally forget about where I am going. I feel like a tourist, a real tourist. I need to take a picture of this landscape even if it is inside the airplane. This scene transports me for a while, at least for fifteen seconds.
I am still far from an urban destination. This allows me to easily accept the spectacular representations that I am looking at. Maybe I prefer to be there. I do not go to the beach in San Francisco. The distance between me inside the airplane on his way to a metropolis and the other me who wants to see himself laying on the beach creates a duality of persona. The other me, who will sometimes be referred to as he, travels through time and space. He can be understood as a flâneur, a tourist, a stranger, an observer, a voyeur, and other characters. More important is the transition between these different roles or between he and me. “The person who’s talking about these two words (Alighiero and Boetti) is a third person, talking in a detached way, and at the same time he’s the only thing, because he’s the union of two opposites, or of the two parts that are joined.”˚
Alighiero Boetti thinks of Alighiero e (and) Boetti as two “detached” parts of himself.“ [...B]y inserting ‘e’ (‘and’) between his names, he stimulates a dialectic exchange between these two selves.”® His twins (and not his twin) are mentioning separate parts of the human being who are in relation to each other but could be against each other; left and right handed, left and right parts of the brain. With those two twins, Boetti has the ability to create multiple identities. This aspect of identity questions the position of these three personas. Who is the he ? Who is the I ? And who is the third person? At this point, all we know is that the author is the creator of these two personas. These two personas are not necessarily against each other. It is metaphoric to mention two different characters. To be a flâneur in one instance and a tourist the next. To be Arash Fayez (AF), or Arash Faeiz (AF), or anything else that can be created.