“No piece of art has ever emotionally affected me the way this robot arm piece has. It’s programmed to try to contain the hydraulic fluid that’s constantly leaking out and required to keep itself running…if too much escapes, it will die so it’s desperately trying to pull it back to continue to fight for another day. Saddest part is they gave the robot the ability to do these ‘happy dances’ to spectators.
“When the project was first launched it danced around spending most of its time interacting with the crowd since it could quickly pull back the small spillage. Many years later… (as you see it now in the video) it looks tired and hopeless as there isn’t enough time to dance anymore.. It now only has enough time to try to keep itself alive as the amount of leaked hydraulic fluid became unmanageable as the spill grew over time. Living its last days in a never-ending cycle between sustaining life and simultaneously bleeding out… (Figuratively and literally as its hydraulic fluid was purposefully made to look like it’s actual blood).
“The robot arm finally ran out of hydraulic fluid in 2019, slowly came to a halt and died – And I am now tearing up over a friggin robot arm ?? It was programmed to live out this fate and no matter what it did or how hard it tried, there was no escaping it. Spectators watched as it slowly bled out until the day that it ceased to move forever. Saying that ‘this resonates’ doesn’t even do it justice imo. Created by Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, they named the piece, ‘Can’t Help Myself’. What a masterpiece. What a message.”
“Extended interpretations: the hydraulic fluid in relation to how we kill ourselves both mentally and physically for money just in an attempt to sustain life, how the system is set up for us to fail on purpose to essentially enslave us and to steal the best years of our lives to play the game that the richest people of the world have designed. How this robs us of our happiness, passion and our inner peace. How we are slowly drowning with more responsibilities, with more expected of us, less rewarding pay-offs and less free time to enjoy ourselves with as the years go by. How there’s really no escaping the system and that we were destined at birth to follow a pretty specific path that was already laid out before us. How we can give and give and give and how easily we can be forgotten after we’ve gone.. How we are loved and respected when we are valuable, then one day we aren’t any longer and we become a burden…and how our young, free-caring spirit gets stolen from us as we get churned out of the broken system that we are trapped inside of. Can also be seen to represent the human life cycle and the fact that none of us make it out of this world alive. But also can act as a reminder to allow yourself to heal, rest and love with all of your heart. That the endless chase for ‘more’ isn’t necessary in finding your own inner happiness.”
– James Kricked Parr