Beautiful Imagery: Max Cooper, “Unbounded”
“This chapter comes towards the end of the Emergence story, after all of the physical world around us has been established by following through the action of the simple building blocks of nature. I wanted to finish the LP with the progression left open-ended, the laws of nature being unbounded and any particular consequences impermanent and ever changing.
The best way to present this seemed to be with an infinite fractal zoom, where we experience delving into a system that seems to have no end. But the problem was that I really don’t like most fractal zoom videos, as it’s a technique that has been much overused, and often relies on the same methods of synthesis which have a particular recognisable aesthetic.
Luckily for me someone got in touch to suggest Morgan Beringer’s work to me, which I loved, so we started chatting about video ideas, and it seemed that Morgan might be able to pull off a new way of the presenting the unbounded zoom! Safely to say, he did an amazing job with this, with his warping saturating abstraction and hints of traditional fractals.”
“The main structure of the video ‘revolves’ around an infinite spiral/zoom effect that is realized using an animated form of the Droste effect, combined with my trademark style of abstract visuals that continuously move in somewhat unpredictable manners. It is the first time I have combined both and a lot of experimenting and trial and error was employed before I found a combination that worked best.
When combined, the overall theme of an unbounded form was expressed via both the chaotic structure of the form and the infinite motion of the spiral. I found this also reflects the contradictions that quickly appear when considering absolutes, infinities, and any such theoretical extremities that are not empirically experienced. The contradiction being that we must always ‘assume’ that unbounded structures are indeed unbounded, and while we might explore short journeys down these roads, the end of the spiral is never reached and the moving forms never solidify. The fact that the form of the spiral remains constant during the video (though the angles change and the colors change, etc.) helps to reflect that we rely upon bounded structures to represent unbounded structures.
Beyond that overall theme I also added further details to echo these ideas, such as the grid appearing at various times to remind us that despite the appearance of an infinite/chaotic motion there is in fact a very defined structure that we get small glimpses of every now and then. The addition of several lighting effects also nods back to the main concept in that they try to remind the viewer that this is a flat video. Just light on a surface, synthetic light even, despite it’s attempt to convey an unbounded infinite.
So the final result hopefully giving us little glimpses of what an infinite or unbounded concept/structure might entail, flights of thought or fantasies almost, but also reminding us that these concepts are never fully understandable or attainable in physical reality beyond these short moments.
My favorite moment within the song is when, for a few short moments, the rhythm extends beyond its established structure and we are left ‘floating’ somewhat before it comes back to ground us. Again, demonstrating that we need the established structure before we can break it, and that even when it is broken or expanded upon, we only get a few brief moments before adapting to the change/new structure.”