My primary interest in pairing (or juxtaposing) images for presentation is that it is an entirely visual means for revealing the choices made by the artist-photographer in creating an image. The pairing provides both a formal and a conceptual framework.
My logical system for selecting images to be paired varies with the particular series. In the case of Signs + Wonders, it was quite fuzzy, and included comparisons based in formal qualities (colors, textures, compositional schemes), based in symbolic elements (icons, signs, bits of text), or based in the subject matter itself. Finding good matches is an elaborate process involving multiple stages of elimination; making hundreds of small prints, and then laying them all out on the floor.
If the paring is a good one, each image can be seen (and understood) more clearly and the pair becomes a third (composite) image with its own character and meanings.
Signs + Wonders was my first extended paired-image series. It began in 1995 and continued through 2013.
Slight Perturbations of the Surface was started during a 2007 residency at the Vermont Studio Center and went through several stages of development (including losing the white separation between the images) before being finalized.
Plain + Fancy is somewhat different in that the concept came first and the images were made to realize it. In photographing in Lancaster County in 2008, I had access to Amish carriages that were on display for sale, and I discovered, to my surprise, that their interiors are anything but austere. I decided to contrast carriage interiors and exteriors in simple large-scale pairings.