Fugue & Phenomenon represents a significant evolutionary step in the way I see the world, both photographically and cosmologically. We are taught in photo courses everywhere to simplify the frame, remove distractions, eliminate background items and generally push for minimalism and clarity. And while those approaches can be spectacular and powerful—I’ve used them here, too—they are also clearly presumptuous, prohibiting an entire range of visual and semiotic possibilities. I am attempting to look into complexity instead of eliminating it, to compose with chaos instead of against it, to use it as a motif. As I do so, I am amazed at what I’m noticing: objects and patterns and issues that become inescapably obvious in the roil.
The result is a large scale photographic investigation, interrogation and meditation exploring chaos and continuity, compression and release, accretion and rhythm, cacophony and silence, the lyrical and the uncanny. Pattern is everywhere, if in different densities. The work attempts to recognize what is all about us but rarely noticed, and even less frequently acknowledged. The observations often emerge between the individual images as well as from within them: multiplicity, superfluity, tumult, bedlam, claustrophobia, panic, plateaus of order masquerading as chaos—all punctuated with interludes of unexpected clarity and quiet.
Including 294 images in 29 prints, the series is large in scope, image size and print size. Prints are in vertical scroll format and range from 17-44″ wide to 40-85″ tall. Layouts range from dense, clamorous collages to serene columns. Individual image sizes range from 3×5″ to 44×44″.