Stephen Shore - September 18, 2005

I've made it through the text within Shore's book. It's interesting. His formalism was, for this book, quite extreme. And I don't yet know what to make of it in the context of his photography.

Aesthetically, what does all that structure within the frame add up to?

I remember once hearing about film directors and the use of various devices. Like having a baby crying in the background. It may be irrelevant to the plot, but if you want to add foreboding and dread to a scene, that's a sure fire way to do it.

Now of course it's fascinating to know things like that when you're watching a movie -- from an academic perspective. But the idea is that it has a direct visceral effect on the moviegoer which forwards what the director is trying to do with the scene, and thus with the movie. You don't need to know anything about it when you're watching it. Hearing that baby crying has an effect on you as a human being.

What, then, is the effect of all that structure in a photograph?

I will say there is a lot about those photos which is compelling...