All Around Noise: Framing, Juxtaposition and Topographies of Difference

“With the close-up the abstract made concrete. Via juxtaposition, the little things set side-by-side, and synecdoche, the separate parts that make up the planet, these photos bring to mind the Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi,” the idea of discovering the beautiful in the ugly: patterns in the dirt, the decay that surrounds.”


ALL AROUND NOISE: Framing, Juxtaposition and Topographies of Difference

In these quotidian images from Scott Bentley’s new series of Photos, All Around Noise: Framing, Juxtaposition and Topographies of Difference, we see his fascination with elements of everyday wear and tear as we consider new points of view. Bentley gets around in a wheelchair, his lens uniquely angled across the topography of movement. Many of these photos—all shot with his iPhone—focus on the ground, on the inner-mechanisms of objects found, framing the figures low down that with the rush of time may without notice disappear. With the close-up the abstract made concrete. Via juxtaposition, the little things set side-by-side; and synecdoche, the separate parts that make up the planet, these photos bring to mind the Japanese concept of “wabi-sabi,” the idea of discovering the beautiful in the ugly: patterns in the dirt, the decay that surrounds.

The way the things
 Upon one another bear.

Bentley flings us into the mix of intention and happenstance, the transient beauty in the things we adore and the stuff we toss away. If an iota of rust can draw us to attention, then mathematically this means our world is 10,000 times more a wilderness than we ever imagined. With these textured images Bentley for a moment asks us to hear a note of silence in the traffic. . .

Purchase your copy of the book, ALL AROUND NOISE here.

Show-Blurg Scott Bentley’s photography was recently on exhibit at Sculpterra Winery and Sculpture Garden in Paso Robles, California.

Visit Sculpterra

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Click on the images below to see full galleries. Prints are available for purchase at 5″ x 5″ ($45) and 8″ x 8″ ($75). These images are perfect for homes, studios, office spaces, waiting rooms. Consider a triptych of any size image at a special price – email artist for details.


  • Sculpterra Winery, Paso Robles, July-September 2015
  • Accident & Artifact, San Francisco October 2014-January 2015
  • Mystic Mocha, San Diego, Fall 2015



Scott Bentley is the author of two full-length poetry collections, THE OCCASIONAL TABLES (sub press, 2000) and GROUND AIR (O Books, 1994); two chapbooks, OUT OF HAND (Parentheses Writing Series, 1989) and EDGE (Birdcage Chapbooks, 1987); the ebook for children, OUR IMAGINARY FRIENDS (Cariuna, 2011); and, most recently, ALL AROUND NOISE: STUDIES IN FRAMING, SYNECDOCHE AND JUXTAPOSITION (Cariuna, 2014), is his first book of photography. Between 1992 and 2011 he co-edited and published the poetry Journal, LETTERBOX. He has co-translated the work of Brazilian writer Régis Bonvicino and others. Some of his translations appear in “NEW AMERICAN WRITING (#18 Lies about the Truth, 2000) and THE PIP ANTHOLOGY OF WORLD POETRY OF THE 20TH CENTURY (Vol. 3)—Nothing the Sun Could Not Explain: 20 Contemporary Brazilian Poets (Green Integer, 2003). His work has appeared in THE BODY ELECTRIC anthology (Ars Omnia, 2013), 580 SPLIT, BIRD DOG, CHAIN, COR, DUSIE, E.RATIO, FACT-SIMILE, LYRIC&, MIRAGE #4/PERIOD(ICAL), OTOLITHS, THE POKER, PSYCHIC MEATLOAF, THE RADDLE MOON, RAMPIKE, THE STYLES, SYLLOGISM, TINFISH, VANITAS and elsewhere.

“ I get around in a wheelchair, so I’m closer to the ground than most people. As such, I’ve always been fascinated by the subtle colorations and textures in concrete. One day I was flipped out of my chair by a root-torn, decaying sidewalk. As a result of the crash the iPhone in my pocket shot an image on its own accord, and I found that image really interesting. This single, accidental photo led me to see how this common, yet complex, piece of technology could allow me to capture, frame and focus upon minuscule aspects of our quotidian world. Colors, surfaces, pieces of broken machinery, shattered glass, flesh and leaves look stunningly unlike themselves once the focus is shifted and re-framed to highlight the previously-invisible details. As an experimental poet and writing instructor, I’m interested in looking (and getting my students to look) AT language, instead of THROUGH language. I’m interested in things like synecdoche, non sequitur, juxtaposition. It turns out that these same things appeal to me in photography. I’m also drawn to the mix of intention and happenstance in these quotidian images, the wabi sabi elements of everyday wear and tear, the transient beauty in the stuff we don’t usually stop to see.”  — Scott Bentley

Scott received an MA from UC San Diego and an MFA from Mills College. He lives with his family in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he teaches writing at California State University East Bay.


  • Bluestockings Bookstore, New York
  • Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
  • Canessa Park Gallery, San Francisco
  • Diesel, A Bookstore, Oakland
  • Dr. Andy’s Poetry and Technology Hour (KDVS 90.3 FM)
  • The Ear Inn, New York
  • Humboldt State University
  • Intersection for the Arts, Berkeley
  • Mills College, Oakland
  • Moe’s Books, Berkeley
  • New College of California, San Francisco
  • New Langton Arts, San Francisco
  • Pegasus Books, Berkeley
  • University of California, San Diego
  • Wilkes Honors College, Florida Atlantic University, Jupiter Campus

Scott conducts poetry workshops in the Bay Area: send a message to be notified of upcoming courses.

Scott tutors students at all levels, in English and Composition



Poems have appeared in the following:

Reviews and essays have appeared in the following:

ms clairol


that lip
this miss





OTOLITHS (Issue 25, May 1, 2012)


Address all correspondence to

Professor Scott Bentley
College of Arts, Letters & Social Sciences
Department of English
California State University East Bay
25800 Carlos Bee Boulevard
Hayward, CA 94542-3037


If you know his number by heart
it's already too late, she said,

in sharkskin with a haircut
that they were undoing...

from "Heat Lightning"

(Parentheses, 1989)

Many thanks to my parents for their love and support.