Is it possible to visually represent theory? This is the core question addressed by a potential project which I began discussing with a couple of people today. My starting point for the question is this video:
The video takes something unitary (a song produced through live looping) and visually deconstructs it, with each of the Beardyman fragments constituting one component of the overall product. But what I really like about this video is that it doesn’t stop there. It illustrates the production of these components (by Beardyman himself), their arrangement through his productive activity and the manner in which the ensuing relations constitute the piece itself.
It shows how something whole acquires its character through the specific interrelation of its parts over time. In this sense I think it visually represents theory. But it represents theory at its most atomistic. It represents an answer to the question “what is X?”. So how do we go further than this? The video artist and Beardyman describe this video as “visually explaining” how live looping works. Can we visually explain how other things work?