At first glance one might think the title of Jesse Diamond’s new release, “White Noise” is something that soothes you to sleep, or minimal enough to enable you to relax.
While part of that may be true, the other part is one of thinking about the meaning of white noise and how you can discover it in the midst of a crowd.
Upon receiving the book, I began to wonder how Diamond came up with the title.
“Honestly, I don’t have a favorite image,” he answered when I asked that question, “but the one beach scene with the many thousands of people was square one of this project.
“The way people disappear into the vast landscape spoke to me. I was using high-speed black-and-white film which added to the flavor.”
Therein the groundwork was laid: “All of the photos that followed were made using the same formula.”
In the Foreword, Ralph Gibson writes about what you can “hear” when viewing the images.
“It is a true symbiosis that perhaps only a visual field with a spoken text can produce. Yet the images evoke that soft drone that one normally associates with sound art.”
In the afore-mentioned beach scene image, Diamond sees a scene as thought-provoking, a diorama, even. You might find some of the pictures in “White Noise” remind you of the three-dimensional depictions of scenes of historical significance found in museums. Maybe they are. Each one takes you to a different space in the history of your life.
“White Noise,” Diamond writes, “was made during a bumpy time in my life. I was newly divorced, and trying to manage my feelings of loneliness, while also trying to find my place again in a vast and seemingly abstract world. This work is very much my diary of that time.”
We all, in one way or another, seek to find our place, whether that be in warmth of a cabin in the woods, or a mansion on a famed street. It is all the same: a place to call our own. Home.
“The book’s title speaks to many frequencies of equal intensities; the author is also sensitive to the phrase’s colloquial association with drowning out the fragmentation and cultural distance permeating the United States today.
“Through the high-key light permeating much of his way of seeing, complemented in the extreme by his attention to gestures in the shadows of the night, Diamond fosters a brief connection between the world, himself, and the viewer through each carefully composed frame.” (excerpted from a Google Books review)
For Jesse Diamond, home is in two places.
“To this day, I find comfort in being alone within a vast space, and I also feel very much at home in large, crowded surroundings.”
Whether you prefer either, “White Noise” will, most certainly, take you on a journey to your own space in time.
Please go to jessediamond.com to view more of Jesse’s work.
“White Noise” is available through Minor Matters.