Barrington Earle's images of industrial parks advance his visual and conceptual ideas, encompassing distant views along with close-ups of facades, and intimating Earle's affinity for European cinema and minimalism

Although Earle conducted a socioeconomic analysis of the development of Orange and Santa Clara counties, his photographs are deliberately uninformative, like the buildings themselves.

Contrasting new, information-based businesses with older manufacturing industries, Earle observed that they tend to have substantially lower pollution levels; are housed in inoffensive, anonymous structures, often with extensive landscaping; and area staffed by a small, technologically trained labor force.

Photography readily aestheticized the industrial parks, an effect Earle perceived and controlled. He had no wish to domesticate or critique these buildings through casual snapshot treatment, however, the results evince a convincing solidity of both surface and depth.


We now enter the arena of the elite of intellect. Irony presupposes dual orders in contrast with one another; appearance vs. reality, the contrast between the apparent and the assumed. This ironic distancing protects the photographer, but since it contains the possibility of misunderstanding, it exposes as well. When one suspects irony, one becomes an insider privy to the structure, to the intended meaning, satisfying both our desire to participate and to acquire meaning. It is the nature of irony to be unrecoverable. If the photographer supplies the intent, it is no longer ironic. In Barrington Earle's work, there is no collusion with the viewer, it is estranged, mute. A flat line on the X axis, revealing nothing by the way light records on film, uncovering nothing of the narrator, concrete in all senses. The implicit irony is arrogant, supported solely by the audience and by the sophistication of photographic technique. The aestheticized detachment reveals the extreme self consciousness that points to the photographer as it hides him.